Study: Calif nearly guaranteed major temblor soon


By CBS and Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The probability California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next couple of decades has increased, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“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. “This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”

Compared to the 2008 assessment, earthquakes around magnitude 6.7 — the size of the destructive 1994 Northridge quake — has gone down by 30 percent with a frequency from an average of one per 4.8 years to about one per 6.3 years.

The study also says the likelihood that California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has gone up from about 4.7 percent to about 7 percent.

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Comments (8)
  1. Tahoebluewire says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    I can’t believe people live in the cities knowing this. Freaks me out! No way I’m living and working in buildings built on large faults. I know tahoe has a few faults as well, but for some reason I feel safer here.

  2. Mama Bear says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    The sky is falling!! Chicken Little was right.

  3. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    tahoebluewire, Yes, there are faults in Tahoe. Will the big tsunami hit us due to the “bath tub effect?”, with large amounts of lake water sloshing from one shore to another leaving populated areas flooded with lake water and huge amounts of debris?
    The thought of a lake tahoe earthquake created tsunami out on that big body of water have been talked about for a long time. Goodbye Tahoe Keys!
    We shall see. Have your canoe or kayak at the ready!
    Happy paddelin’!!! OLS

  4. Tahoebluewire says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    Yep. The schools do a tsunami drill every year in Tahoe. My kids know where to run!

  5. Louis says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    TahoeBlue, don’t forget that news outlets tend to over embellish how bad things get. Look at Angora, yes a few hundred homes were lost, there were many losses in our community. But the national news made it sound like the whole city burned down, when that was far from the truth.

    Same thing in the last few natural disasters in SF and LA. Somehow 99% of the cities survived and were fine in a few days. Of course there has been some major losses but overall people pulled through fine.

  6. reloman says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    I am reading this wrong? it says that in the next 30 years there is a 7 percent chance that California will receive a 8 or better earthquake. This like a 1 in 14 chance. The headline reads guarantee that we will get one. I would never place a bet on a team that had a 1 in 14 chance of winning, as I would not get a guarantee win. Not only that but the chance of getting a earthquake line the one in Northridge has gone down. Totally misleading headline to get people to read the article.

  7. Cranky Gerald says - Posted: March 11, 2015


    Of course you are correct…the headline does not present the probabilities correctly. I also note that a couple of decades is used to describe the time frame, while later the time frame 30 years is used in a description.

    Clearly very sloppy work on the media side.

  8. greengrass says - Posted: March 11, 2015

    A 1 in 14 change means that we will have one in the next 14 years, but this article says we are guaranteed on in the next 10 years. Hmmm…