Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The big one is coming . . .

. . . in the next 30 years. A newly released report from the USGS calculates a 99% probability of a 6.7 or stronger quake in California during that period. Of course the risk on individual faults is lower than that. As the Press-Enterprise reports, the probability of a large quake on the San Jacinto fault has actually been cut in half. That's sort-of good news for us in Yucaipa, since the San Jacinto fault runs just south of us. But the southern San Andreas fault - to the north of us - is still the most likely fault to to generate a big quake in the entire state.

Star: Yucaipa
Purple Line: San Andreas Fault (59% probability of a >6.7 quake in the next 30 years)
Red Line: San Jacinto Fault (31% probability of a >6.7 quake in the next 30 years)
Beige Lines: Faults with low probability of a big quake
Click for full-sized graphic (pdf).
Read the USGS Report.

And don't just sit and wait. The last biggish June 2005 quake in Yucaipa was only a 4.9 (almost 100x weaker than the predicted 6.9) and I remember feeling that strongly in Riverside. A bigger one could hit at any time. The Earthquake Country web site has some useful SoCal-targeted information, including a booklet, Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country and seven steps to earthquake safety . Even if you are an apartment dweller, you can still secure your stuff and make yourself an emergency earthquake kit.

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