Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rumblings of Calif. 'Big One': 'It's going to happen' by 2037

clipped from www.usatoday.com
California faces an almost certain risk of being rocked by a strong earthquake by 2037, scientists said Monday in the first statewide quake forecast.
New calculations reveal a 99.7% chance that a magnitude-6.7 quake or larger will strike in the next 30 years. The odds of such an event are higher in Southern California than Northern California, 97% vs. 93%.
"It basically guarantees it's going to happen," said Ned Field, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Pasadena and lead author of the report.

The damage created by an earthquake depends greatly on where it hits. A magnitude-7.1 quake — much stronger than Northridge — hit the Mojave Desert in 1999 but caused few injuries and no deaths.

The analysis is the first comprehensive effort by the USGS, Southern California Earthquake Center and California Geological Survey to calculate earthquake probabilities for the entire state using newly available data.
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