If you live in California, you might want to make sure your bug out bag essentials are in order. The San Andreas fault is awake and it has begun to remind all Californians that it can (and likely will) unleash a massive and catastrophic earthquake in due time. A new earthquake swarm has some residents, and probably seismologists, fearing the worst. Ten miniature earthquakes rattled the San Andreas fault line at Monterey County. The area affected by the earthquakes is rural, but that hasn’t calmed fears that this new earthquake swarm is a precursor to something much more significant on a fault line overdue to rattle the entire west coast.
One of the mini-quakes measured a humble 4.6 on the Richter scale (humble for California, that is). Folks in San Francisco were able to feel the shaking. The swarm was the initial 4.6, followed by nine tremors. There were no injuries and no harm to structures, but any shaking in California, particularly on one of the world’s most dangerous fault lines, is enough to at least rattle nerves.
Experts agree that earthquake events, even small ones, that occur on the San Andreas fault line are concerning.
‘Any time there is significant seismic activity in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault, we seismologists get nervous,’ Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Centre, said to the LA Times one year ago.
‘Because we recognize that the probability of having a large earthquake goes up.’
All said and done, yesterday’s tremor events are somewhat normal. It is an active fault line and seismologists have hardly cracked the surface with the business of earthquake prediction.
‘This is really typical behavior,’ seismologist Annemarie Baltay said.
‘It’s as if someone put an oil can into the fault and lubricated it.’
Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones struck fear into Californians last May when she announced that the big one is “imminent.”
‘We find patterns even when they’re not real,’ Dr. Jones said.
She also claimed Californians to be underwhelming in terms of their concern and preparation.
‘I’m not trying to terrify people. I’m trying to inspire action that will prevent our scenarios from coming true. It’s in our power to change,’ Jones stated in a Tweet.
While California and the United States west coast gets the bulk of attention when it comes to earthquake potential, they aren’t the region that should be the most concern. That distinction belongs to all the people in the midwest living along the San Madrid fault. And because of the ground structure in the Midwest, that includes a lot of regions outstretched from the faultlines origin. The Midwest, unlike their friends in California, would be ill-prepared to take on such a disaster that would likely cause massive scale casualties, potentially 80,000. Cities such as Memphis and St. Louis could be potentially destroyed beyond repair. The Midwest has hardly any buildings structured to absorb the devastating shockwaves caused by a massive earthquake.