Millions At Risk of Biggest Earthquake in 200 Years as ‘Much WORSE’ Big One Forecast
CALIFORNIA is bracing itself for a much worse major earthquake than previously expected, with fears two fault lines will be triggered at the SAME time.
Professors said California is not prepared for the double hit, with fears infrastructure would come crashing down if the fault lines triggered simultaneously.
No one, scientists included, disputes southern California is long overdue a so-called ‘Big One’ earthquake of magnitude 8 or more.
But now scientific research shows it is going to be bigger than anything seen before in the region, posing a threat to millions of people along the west coast of the US.
The last massive earthquake along the 810 mile San Andreas fault – which runs from San Diego to Cape Mendocino – was 1812, when the area faced major devastation and loss of life between San Diego and San Buenvaventura.
New research says the separate and adjacent 180 mile-long San Jacinto fault, which runs through more populated cities, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego , will also erupt at the same time.
It means disaster officials have underestimated how many people will be affected in the event of a mega quake.
Julian Lozos, an assistant geophysics professor at California State University, claims to have found evidence both fault lines erupted at the same time during the 1812 natural disaster.
Writing in a paper published in the Journal Science Advances, he said: “If that happened once, there is a strong chance it can happen again.
“Looking at old earthquakes in general is really a good way to figure out what faults are capable of doing.”
Geologists have always believed there was a separate quake along San Jacinto before the horrific San Andreas quake on December 8, 1812.
But Mr Lozos now believes San Jacinto was actually the starting point of a mega quake across both areas.
He suggests it started in Mystic Lake, travelling north up the San Jacinto fault line.
He added: “This precedent carries the implications that similar joint ruptures are possible in the future and that the San Jacinto fault plays a more significant role in seismic hazard in southern California than previously considered.”
Lisa Grant Ludwig, a University of California professor, said the region was not prepared for this.
She said: “In southern California, much of our infrastructure was built to withstand a rupture of either the San Andreas or San Jacinto faults, but not both at the same time.”