May 21 2014

Tomorrow Or 50 Years From Now? California’s Next Big Earthquake

If you’ve lived in California for any length of time, you know we’re overdue for “the big one.” From the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that resulted in 3,000 people dying from the actual quake and related fires, to the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Southern California that killed nearly 60 people and injured 5000, seismic tremors usually inspire deep fear. And with good reason.

The San Andreas fault which runs nearly the entire length of the state of California, from two plates moving in opposite directions, is the source of much of our seismic activity. The fault is closely being watched by seismologists and geophysicists. While warning systems can potentially give people precious minutes and seconds to act, there is no reliable system of actually predicting earthquakes.

GUEST: Dr. Susan Hough is a seismologist and geophysicist with the US Geological Survey at Caltech and author of several books including Predicting the Unpredictable, Richter’s Scale, After the Earthquakes, and Finding Fault in California

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