In Southern California, beneath the city of San Andreas, the fault on which it stands is about to explode. Earthquake expert Thomas Jordan believes that the fault will blow any day now.
Jordan, who is also the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center has been quoted saying:
„The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight. And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go”.
South east of the Cajon pass, and further towards Salton Sea, the other sections of this fault have been quiet. They are long overdue for an extreme earthquake. While it may sound strange complaining about how there were no earthquakes in a long time, this is actually a big problem. The tectonic plates need to relieve 16 feet of accumulated plate movement every century. This has not happened in the San Andreas fault in a long time.
Experts claim that cities should look to Los Angeles as an excellent example as far as earthquake protection goes. He believes that cities should install earthquake retrofits on apartment and concrete buildings, like LA did, in order to focus on being more resilient against such a serious natural disaster.
They should also focus on reinforcing sewage systems and telecommunications networks.
An earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude on the SA fault would result in over 1800 deaths, half a million injuries and more than 200 billion dollars in damages. Furthermore, the 2008 Geological survey from which this data comes from claims that the sewer system would not work for over six months.
An example of the catastrophic power of an earthquake is the 1857 Fort Tejon quake, which had a magnitude of 7.9. It was so powerful that the soil actually liquefied and caused the trees in the surrounding area to sink, as well as some trees being uprooted many miles west from here.
Even the city of Los Angeles, under which the SA fault does not run, is expected to suffer the consequences of the quake. A simulation of a 7.8 magnitude quake shows seismic waves stretching from northern San Diego County all the way to Barstow.
In 2010, by using the most powerful supercomputer on Earth at that time, another simulation was done, of an earthquake which possessed a magnitude of 8. It begins in Monterey County but travels all the way to the Mexican border.
“You can see that this area of influence by the shaking has now expanded out to huge proportions,” Jordan said. “You see that big directivity pulse out in front, as that energy is being shoved down that fault, that directivity pulse leads energy into seismic waves that excite the sedimentary basins, like the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles Basin,” and through San Bernardino, Jordan said.
“You’ll notice large shaking in the Los Angeles region persisting for long periods of time,” he said