For ages, Americans have been inundated with the possibility that California could suffer from “The Big One”, and go crashing into the ocean.
The “Big One” of course refers to the mythical, yet realistic probability that California will suffer from an unprecedentedly strong earthquake any day now, and that disaster would likely bring with it an unfathomable amount of death and destruction.
Californians are not new to the ground shaking beneath their feet, however. Much of the state suffers from tremors caused by the San Andreas fault quite regularly, but, being such an active region has helped to reduce the intensity of these quakes as the frequency increases. Think of it as letting out a slow tire leak rather than suffering a sudden blowout on the highway; things aren’t great, but there no sudden and immense danger to you.
This week’s incredibly strong 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Mexico has renewed Californians’ concerns, and new modeling data shows that the state would be woefully devastated if “The Big One” comes knocking.
“A magnitude 8.2 earthquake would rupture the San Andreas fault from the Salton Sea — close to the Mexican border — all the way to Monterey County. The fault would rupture through counties including Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino.
“An 8.2 earthquake would be far worse here because the San Andreas fault runs right through areas such as the Coachella Valley — home to Palm Springs — and the San Bernardino Valley, along with the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles. The fault is about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
“In Mexico, ‘you’ve got [many] people a pretty long way aways from it,’ seismologist Lucy Jones said Friday. But in Southern California, ‘we’d have a lot of people right on top of it. It would be shallow, and it runs through our backyard.’
“A magnitude 8.2 on the San Andreas fault would cause damage in every city in Southern California, Jones has said, from Palm Springs to San Luis Obispo.”
In this disaster scenario, up to 1 million residents would likely be displaced from their homes.
Massive earthquakes have occurred in Southern California before, but in times of relatively rural societies in the Bear Republic. 1906’s San Francisco quake comes to mind, a disaster that killed 3,000 and left much of the city in ruins. That quake was merely a 7.8 on the Richter Scale.
As much as California likes to talk about seceding from the nation due to their hatred of conservative America, no one wants to see what’s left of the state drift out to sea at the tail end of such a disaster.