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Southern California’s section of the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll,” according to Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center.
The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight, Jordan recently said at the National Earthquake Conference.
The last big temblor to strike the southern portion of the San Andreas was in 1857 when a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook 185 miles between the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles and Monterey County in the central coast.
Earthquakes should be relieving about 16 feet of tectonic plate movement every 100 years, scientists have observed, yet the San Andreas has not relieved any stress that has been building for more than a century.
Jordan said it’s important that California focuses on becoming ready for a potentially huge earthquake, one as strong as a magnitude 8.
In 2008, a U.S. Geological Survey report warned that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault would cause more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries, $200 billion in damage and severe, long-lasting disruptions.
Watch a shake out scenario by the Southern California Earthquake Center and read more at LA Times.com.