Independent] Residents of southern California have been warned by a top seismologist that the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to go” and a major earthquake in the region is overdue.
The dire warning has come just a few months after the Mayor of Los
Angeles, Eric Garcetti, pushed legislation through the City Council
demanding that the most vulnerable buildings in the city be retrofitted
as soon as possible so they will be able to withstand violent shaking.
It was delivered by Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern
California Earthquake Centre, speaking at an earthquake conference in
Long Beach. “The San Andreas fault is locked, loaded and ready to roll.
The springs of that fault have been wound pretty tightly and the
situation is there where we could have major earthquakes in California,”
he told an audience of fellow seismologists.
The Earthquake Centre has meanwhile released as sobering graphic that
simulates how far the shaking would travel if, as he suggests, it is of
While predicting earthquakes remains an uncertain science, there has
been concern among experts for some time that the San Andreas fault may
be close to a new, major ruction if only by virtue of the length of time
since it happened last, when the southern portion of the fault was
struck by a 7.9 shaker all the way back in 1857.
Since then the tectonic plates that meet at the fault have been
continuously on the move at a rate of about 2 inches per year. That
means that over 159 years there has been a shift of 26 feet as the
Pacific plate moves in a northwesterly direction against the American
continental plate. Every additional inch creates additional pressures
on the rocks beneath the earth’s surface. Read More