by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
It appears that something unusual is happening along the California coastline. Over the past 24 hours, California has been hit by 46 earthquakes. That is approximately twice the normal daily number, and much of the shaking has taken place in the southern part of the state. In recent weeks I have been writing repeatedly about the alarming seismic activity that we have been seeing along the west coast, and many believe that the potential for a megaquake is significantly higher than normal right now. Unfortunately, most residents of California are not paying any attention to what is going on at all, and so if there is a major event they will be completely blindsided by it.
When a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck near Julian, California on Wednesday, that immediately got my attention, and that quake was followed very rapidly by several others…
The shaking began at 4:33 p.m. on Wednesday when a 4.0 quake occurred nearly 10 miles beneath the earth’s surface, just east of the Earthquake Valley fault, one of the most active systems in Southern California. The temblor had originally been listed at 4.2.
The main shock was followed five minutes later by a 3.0 aftershock in the same spot. Then a 3.6 quake occurred near the same spot at 7:57 p.m. Wednesday.
Seismologists say that a 3.6 quake broke in the same area at 2:32 a.m. on Thursday, continuing the seismic spasm.
Of course Julian is not the only one that has seen a substantial earthquake over the past 24 hours. Just 6 hours ago, a magnitude 3.2 earthquake struck Gonzales, California. Anything in the magnitude 3 or magnitude 4 range is not going to cause any significant damage, but the concern is that these smaller quakes may be building up to something larger.
According to a study published by the USGS, there is a “99% chance” that California will be hit by a major earthquake within the next 30 years…
In a 2008 study, the US Geological Survey found there’s a greater than 99% chance of a 6.7 magnitude quake or larger hitting the California area over the next 30 years. That type of quake along the San Andreas Fault in Southern California could kill an estimated 1,800 people, the study said, injure 53,000 and result in $214 billion in damage. California’s infrastructure could be crippled for weeks, if not months.
Such an event would definitely be catastrophic, but California could definitely recover.
However, if the California coastline were to be hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the devastation would be unlike anything that we have ever seen before in American history.
Not too long ago, the Los Angeles Times published an article that discussed what the damage from a magnitude 8.2 earthquake would look like. The following is a short excerpt from that article…
Main freeways to Las Vegas and Phoenix that cross the San Andreas fault would be destroyed in this scenario; Interstate 10 crosses the fault in a dozen spots, and Interstate 15 would see the roadway sliced where it crosses the fault, with one part of the roadway shifted from the other by 15 feet, Jones said.
“Those freeways cross the fault, and when the fault moves, they will be destroyed, period,” Jones said. “To be that earthquake, it has to move that fault, and it has to break those roads.”
The aqueducts that bring in 88% of Los Angeles’ water supply and cross the San Andreas fault all could be damaged or destroyed, Jones said.
And remember, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake would be far, far worse than a magnitude 8.2 earthquake.
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