'Inevitable' Massive Quake May Hit San Francisco Any Time, Scientists Say
The last time the Golden State saw a major earthquake was in 1994 in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. The magnitude of the quake was estimated by the USGS to be 6.7.
The San Francisco Bay Area could experience a massive quake at any time, earthquake engineering expert Keith Porter suggested, according to USA Today
Scientists fear that, when the predicted earthquake occurs, the area could be hit with a force "equal to hundreds of atomic bombs". Porter, who works on the US Geological Survey's (USGS) HayWired earthquake scenario, rolled out would
happen should his predictions come true.
"The real earthquake will create a different pattern of ground shaking, causing landslides in different locations - but it, too, will cause landslides; the real earthquake will alter the stresses underground in its own way, producing a different set of aftershocks - but it, too, will produce aftershocks that can aggravate the disaster for years", he said.
According to the USGS, understanding the quake threat, along with necessary planning, can help residents to be "more ready for the actual Hayward fault earthquakes that will inevitably happen".
The Hayward Fault Zone is a geologic region capable of generating major quakes which lies mainly in the western base of the hills on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. Particularly, the dangerous area includes densely populated regions like Richmond, Castro Valley, San Jose, Fremont, Union City, and many others.
The last time the area saw a massive earthquake was in 1994, when the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles was impacted, resulting in more than 50 people dead (the exact death toll remains unclear).
The USGS says there is a 51% chance of a similarly major earthquake occurring in the region within the next three decades. Additionally, according to the agency, there is also a one-in-three chance of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hitting the Los Angeles area in this time period.