U.S. Geological Survey: Around 7% Chance California Will Experience Magnitude 8.0 Or Larger Earthquake In Next 30 Years

Like that “Project Prepper” post yesterday, it’s been a while (January 13) since I talked about the danger of a really big California earthquake.

Why do I continue to bring up the subject, even though I live in the more seismically-calm Midwest?

Probably because the “Big One” could happen in my lifetime. And I’m really concerned about the safety of all those people out in that area of the West Coast.

Consider what I blogged in that January 13 post:

59 percent chance of 7.8-magnitude San Andreas earthquake in next 30 years

And the U.S. Geological Survey just issued a press release on March 10, 2015, in which they warned the likelihood the state of California will experience a magnitude 8.0 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has jumped. From the USGS website:

A new California earthquake forecast by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners revises scientific estimates for the chances of having large earthquakes over the next several decades.

The Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, improves upon previous models by incorporating the latest data on the state’s complex system of active geological faults, as well as new methods for translating these data into earthquake likelihoods.

The study confirms many previous findings, sheds new light on how the future earthquakes will likely be distributed across the state and estimates how big those earthquakes might be.

Compared to the previous assessment issued in 2008, UCERF2, the estimated rate of earthquakes around magnitude 6.7, the size of the destructive 1994 Northridge earthquake, has gone down by about 30 percent. The expected frequency of such events statewide has dropped from an average of one per 4.8 years to about one per 6.3 years.

However, in the new study, the estimate for the likelihood that California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has increased from about 4.7% for UCERF2 to about 7.0% for UCERF3.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” said lead author and USGS scientist Ned Field…

“We are fortunate that seismic activity in California has been relatively low over the past century. But we know that tectonic forces are continually tightening the springs of the San Andreas fault system, making big quakes inevitable,” said Tom Jordan, Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and a co-author of the study. “The UCERF3 model provides our leaders and the public with improved information about what to expect, so that we can better prepare.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Once again, keep those earthquakes preparations going at full throttle, Californians. And visit The Great California Shakeout website– among other earthquake preparedness online resources- if you haven’t already.

After all, it’s only a matter of time before the “Big One” strikes.

You can read the entire press release on the USGS website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 Emergencies, Government, Natural Disasters, Preparedness

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