Could California’s Recent Heavy Rainfall Trigger A Big Earthquake?

“20 inches of rain, 12 feet of snow finally end 5-year drought in N. California”

USA TODAY website, January 12, 2017

“Drenched: How L.A. went from bone-dry to 216% of normal rainfall in four months”

Los Angeles Times website, January 23, 2017

“Parts Of California See 300 Percent Of Normal January Rainfall”

-CBS Los Angeles website, January 24, 2017

“Flooding rain, mountain snow to pound western US into the weekend”

-AccuWeather.com, February 2, 2017

It’s been some time since I last blogged about California and its earthquake threat. And just recently, I learned there could be a connection between heavy rainfall and big earthquakes (hat-tip Armstrong Economics Blog).

Considering the deluge California received last month (with more coming, by the sounds of it), I wonder if the odds of a major tremblor happening soon have increased in “The Golden State”?

Richard A Lovett reported on the National Geographic website back on December 15, 2011:

Heavy rainfall can trigger earthquakes in what one scientist calls “disaster triggering disaster.”

Shimon Wdowinski, of the University of Miami in Florida, first noticed a connection between storms and earthquakes last year.

The devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in early 2010 came only 18 months after Haiti had been deluged by several hurricanes and tropical storms.

And another large earthquake, a magnitude 6.4 temblor that rocked Taiwan in 2009, occurred only seven months after the area had been hit by Typhoon Morakot, which dropped 9.5 feet (2.9 meters) of rain in five days. Hurricanes are called typhoons in parts of Asia.

To test the rainfall-earthquake link, Wdowinski dug through the past 50 years of earthquake and weather records for Taiwan, an island that experiences a lot of severe rainstorms and earthquakes.

He found that a magnitude 7.6 earthquake had struck in 1999, only three years after Typhoon Herb soaked Taiwan with 6.6 feet (2 meters) of rain.

Overall, his analysis revealed that Taiwan’s large earthquakes- deemed as magnitude 6 and higher- were five times more likely to occur within four years after such storms than if the storms had had no effect

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to Dr. Wdowinski, erosion from landslides is the main culprit, which lessens stress on underlying rocks, therefore making it easier for a fault to move.

Back on January 23, Matt Hamilton and Hailey Branson-Potts reported on the Los Angeles Times website:

After another round of heavy rains soaked parts of California, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Monday for several counties dealing with an estimated tens of million dollars in damage from flooding, erosion, and mud flows…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I wonder what Professor Wdowinski’s take on California’s situation would be?

Hopefully, nothing to worry about.

You can read that National Geographic article here on the magazine’s website. Very interesting stuff.

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


Branson-Potts, Hailey and Hamilton, Matt Hamilton. “Gov. Brown declares state of emergency after storms cause flooding, erosion, highway damage.” Los Angeles Times. 23 Jan. 2017. (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-rain-monday-20170123-story.html). 2 Feb. 2017.


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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 Asia, Emergencies, Natural Disasters, Science, Weather No Comments

Chicago-Born PureLives Water Filtration Device Sounds Promising

Not all bad news is coming out of Chicago these days. I happened to catch a neat article Thursday on ChicagoGrid.com (focuses on the Chicago business community) about a new, affordable water filtration device called PureLives. Nenad Tadic talked about the portable 5-gallon backpack-style filter yesterday, which uses gravity to remove bacteria, viruses, organic chemicals, dirt and debris to reveal 99.9% clean water. From the piece:

Founder: George Page, an inventor with a chemical engineering background who has a decade of experience running water treatment facilities in Chicago…
How it works: The container, which is manufactured in Rosemont, runs water through three filters without using chemicals or electricity — the Lamborghini of water filters to Brita’s Honda. In a lab test certified by the National Science Foundation, PureLives cleared out more than 99 percent of contaminants. The filter lasts for 5,000 to 10,000 gallons, or about three years of moderate use.
Origins: Page left his job with the city in 2009, around the same time an earthquake devastated Haiti and put potable drinking water at a premium. Page decided to put his experience to the task, creating PocketPure, a collapsible one-pound device that holds up to four cups of water. PureLives, which holds five gallons, was born out of PocketPure.
Why: UNICEF estimates that 768 million people worldwide don’t have access to clean drinking water. The product filters out cholera, typhoid, dysentery, E. Coli and salmonella.

I’m aware that there are other portable water filtration devices on the market that can filter thousands of gallons over a number of years.

But according to Tadic, the cost of the PureLives device is only $75.

It hasn’t hit the stores just yet, however.

If PureLives works as good as its predecessor, PocketPure, is supposed to, then I look forward to it being made available to retailers as a potential addition to my water preps.

“Man Drinks Horse Crap To Test Pocketpure Water Filtration System”
YouTube Video

For more information about both PureLives and PocketPure, visit the Portapure website here.

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


Tadic, Nenad. “The Lamborghini of water filters was built in Rosemont to save lives in Haiti.” ChicagoGrid.com. 8 Aug. 2013. (http://www.chicagogrid.com/reviews/tech/purelives-water-filter/). 9 Aug. 2013.


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