California is in danger of a serious earthquake. The consequences of this earthquake will be even worse than it was initially forecasted.
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: “Looking at old earthquakes in general is really a good way to figure out what faults are capable of doing.”
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.”