Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — For countless years, California has been the hub for disastrous earthquakes causing millions in damage and lost lives. It has even been said that eventually, the Sunshine state that sits on a major fault line will inevitably “fall off” the coast of the U.S. In a recent report by the Associated Press, a major earthquake is expected to shake California again by the year 2037–and this time, it’s going to be a catastrophe.
“New calculations reveal there is a 99.7 percent chance a magnitude 6.7 quake or larger will strike in the next 30 years. The odds of such an event are higher in Southern California than Northern California, 97 percent versus 93 percent.” The calculations give a daunting forecast and according to Ned Field, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena and lead author of the report, almost guarantees the quake will occur.
To shed light on the enormous size and capability of a 6.7 quake, an example of such a disaster occurred in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley in 1994. The quake was also a 6.7 magnitude and cost 72 people their lives, injuring 9,000 more. $25 billion in damages were left in miles of debris and wreckage in the metropolitan area.
The exact location of a quake has a great deal to to with the damage it causes. For example, a 1999 quake that hit the Mojave Desert resulted in little damage and no deaths. Still, California has science working against it when it comes to natural disasters.
“California is one of the world’s most seismically active regions. More than 300 faults crisscross the state, which sits atop two of Earth’s major tectonic plates, the Pacific and North American plates. About 10,000 quakes each year rattle Southern California alone, although most of them are too small to be felt.”
Although the exact year and location is unknown, researchers are using this forecast as a “wake-up call” to residents to prepare for an earthquake.