Is it true that southern California is overdue for a large earthquake? Does this mean predictions are wrong, or is a disaster inevitable?



  1. 0 Votes

    It is true that scientists have predicted that southern California has a relatively high probability of experiencing a major earthquake in the next 30 years. This is mostly because the San Andreas fault system has been quiet for about 148 years. As part of a pretty active fault system, it is likely that earthquakes will continue to occur. However, the longer period of time that goes by without an earthquake event, the more scientist surmise that a large amount of pressure is building up and may result in a larger earthquake or series of earthquakes along a particular fault. Earthquake prediction is not accurate enough to predict when, where or how large of a magnitude an earthquake will be. The best thing to do is to be prepared and to have a plan. Predictions range from 20-70% for the occurrence of a major (greater than 6 magnitude) earthquake in the next 30 years in the Los Angeles region and up to 99% for all of California. The USGS is currenty working on a more efficient warning system for the Southern California region.

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