The state of California will almost certainly be hit by a large earthquake by the year 2037. Scientists at the Southern California Earthquake Center have proposed new calculations that say that there is a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 quake (on the Richter scale) quake soon. Most scientists call this forecast practically a guarantee. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake is a serious deal. The last 6.7 earthquake occurred under Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and killed 72 people, injured around 9,000, and caused $25 billion in damage to the city.
A Photograph of the Aftermath of the Great San Francisco Earthquake
The reason California is one of the world’s most seismically active areas is because more than 300 faults crisscross the state. It also lays over two of Earth’s major tectonic plates: the Pacific and North American plates. About 10,000 quakes hit California every year, but most are too small to be noticed. In this case, the San Andreas fault seems the most primed to buckle (for more info on earthquakes, see my previous post entitled Shake and Bake).
Scientists still cannot predict exactly where in California the earthquake will hit, but the people must be alert for such a disaster. Researchers also calculated the probabilities for larger earthquakes over the same time period including a magnitude 7 quake (94%). Perhaps there is a correlation between the offshore earthquakes of Oregon and this earthquake? We shall see.