Warnings About San Andreas Earthquakes Are Necessary

My husband is in the hospital again for observations and tests.  I hope all is well in the end.  As for California: massive number of quakes have occurred in the southern end of the Salton Sea.  California-Nevada Fault Map centered at 33°N,115°W

More than 400 earthquakes rattle California as the lower end of the San Andreas Fault system shakes like jello.  The stresses there are tremendous but ever since the fault shifted recently in the Gulf of California, the lower end has been having frequent bouts of activity.  These are increasing, not decreasing.  Whenever there are multiple clusters of 4.0 or less quakes in a region along the Ring of Fire, there usually is a major quake brewing.

Earthquake swarm puts California areas on edge | Nation & World | The Seattle Times

A magnitude-4.2 earthquake rattled communities 100 miles east of San Diego on Monday night, despite observations from earthquake experts that a series of small to moderate earthquakes seemed to be slowing down and getting smaller in magnitude.

That may be true for San Diego.  The latest round of quakes are not damaging for anyone in the near vicinity.  The problem is, this shows that both the top and the bottom of the entire fault line system has been reset repeatedly while the entire middle section is frozen in place.  This is bad.  Very bad.

Here is a previous story I wrote about the possibility of a major quake in central California:  Earth news: Geologists Warn San Andreas 99% Chance Big Quake Next 35 Years.  The map below is from 2008.  It is very similar to the map today.


Since then, we have had a very active quake session all along the entire coastal west except for just above LA.  IRIS Seismic Monitor – Recent Earthquakes

We can see this clearly in the map above.  The quakes at either end of the San Andreas system and the Juan de Fuca plate are all very, very active while the center is still.

Many of these quakes are at the critical 10km level which is where  many of the great quakes operate.  The chances of a great quake bigger than a 7.5 is very high for Los Angeles and the midsection of California.  Ten years ago, quakes were so seldom on this map below, there were, at most, only three or four at a time.  As I demonstrated with my 2008 link above, the tendency is for more and more clusters of quakes that shake the entire region.  As it is today.   This year, there are many days when there are hundreds.  The shaking has expanded to Nevada which is another sign that stress is building.

With many quakes, stress is relieved.  But the nature of the swift slip/slide northwards of the entire coastal region from the Gulf of Mexico to northern California means that if the middle section hasn’t slip/slide along with the rest, it will be forced to catch up violently and suddenly.

We have no idea why the middle section has stayed so frozen in place while the other parts have been yanked around so much.  Something around Fort Tejon is doing this.  Several fault lines converge on this site.

This close up map above shows clearly that there are no quakes happening in this entire region.  This is bad news.  Not good news.  People living in the Los Angeles basin as well as all the communities to the north and east should make urgent preparations for a possible quake.  Since geological forces move at their own pace, we have no way of exactly predicting when an event will happen.  But we can calculate roughly the odds of an event happening and there is a 100% chance the middle section of the San Andreas will violently reset itself and the chances of it happening in the next few years is extremely high.

This is a map showing the northern end of the frozen portion of the San Andreas and it is having small quakes this month.  I take this as another warning sign that there is a lot of stress to the south of Parkfield.  Parkfield was where the Great San Francisco Quake stopped 100 plus years ago.  The Fort Tejon quake as 70 years before that and since then, hasn’t happened so it is overdue.  AFP: US overdue, under-prepared for huge Pacific quake:

“All preparedness is local and it varies dramatically over the length of the coast,” said Tom Tobin, president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

For instance, California has a state law that says all hospitals should be constructed so that they can withstand a major earthquake and still function, Tobin said.

But “since 1971 only one new hospital has been constructed in San Francisco to that higher standard. All the other campuses are in older buildings, some of them dating back to the early 1900s,” he said. 

That is, there is little done to fix the weaknesses inherent in how things were built in the past.  The chances of grave hazard for people is quite high, not low.  Tokyo survived the recent giant quakes that shook and for the most part, destroyed a good part of the east coast of Japan but the effects in Tokyo were much lower due to it being further away from the epicenters of the quakes.  A 9.0 quake in Tokyo bay is another story.  We don’t know if the redesign/retrofitting done there works.

I do know that all schools have diagonal steel struts added to prevent the buildings from pancaking.  The collapse of cement floors in buildings is a huge hazard.  Many, many people have died all over the earth in these very dangerous modern buildings when they suddenly lose the ability to support the cement slabs above.  LA has many buildings like this and I believe virtually none have any diagonal steel beam support structures.

Most of the deaths in Christ Church, New Zealand was from several cement floor buildings pancaking.  This is sadly all too common and the engineering beliefs about these buildings has been very sadly misplaced.  All of them are quite unsafe.  Alas, most parking garages are exactly that: death traps in earth quakes and LA has a good number of these.sunset borger


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Filed under Geology

17 responses to “Warnings About San Andreas Earthquakes Are Necessary

  1. Andrew

    Really, Christchurch, New Zealand (not “New Church”, ChristZealand?), and a total death count of 185 for an earthquake that is to-date the third most costly natural disaster in recordered history is actually a spectacular vindication of the earthquake preparedness in most NZ cities. It certainly wasn’t as good as it could be, but much better still then many modern cities.

    By the way, over half of those deaths occurred in one building, which is the exception, not the rule.

  2. emsnews

    Sorry, corrected my mistake. My husband is in the hospital and I have been run ragged this last two days.

    And yes, it was just one major building that failed. And… the US has many like this building! Which was my point in the first place.

  3. Peter

    I keep thinking of all the water and power lines running into L.A. that would all be cutoff,I’m sure they all run over the fault line.Even if they are not cut off,the water system requires electricity to pump over the mountains before descending into L.A. proper.
    Just think of L.A. without water and power for weeks .

  4. Debby

    My daughter and her husband recently bought a house in Big Bear near Sugarloaf. I was excited for them because they live in Woodland Hills and this house is for weekend getaways and I was hopeful that it may be a safer area for them to be in than L.A. But then I read about the Big Bear earthquake and now I’m freaking out. What are your thoughts on Big Bear? I’m confused by all of this earthqake stuff.

  5. hans

    Just think of L.A. without water and power for weeks.

    Good, just think of all the poor people of the world who had to suffer under your government madness, specifically Iraq.

  6. DeVaul

    There is a photo of a family living in the rubble outside their home in the Ghaza strip on RT. It looks like the aftermath of an earthquake, only it was a manmade one. LA could look like this someday, and it will never be fixed.

    The internal combustion engines required to clean up the mess all require water to cool them, and there simply will not be enough water to even drink there after an earthquake of magnitude 9 or above.

  7. DeVaul

    Also from RT:


    This is what we can expect after a government collapse, so think twice before you wish the government to collapse. I said over on Club Orlov that local druglords would fill the vacuum here in Lexington, but there are also a lot of militiamen in Kentucky and this is happening right now.

    They don’t train to be farmers, craftsmen, builders, or anything that might be useful after an imperial collapse. They train with rifles and military gear, and shooting and kiling is all they will know how to do.

  8. Paul S

    I know this is a basic question, but how damaging would a 7.5 RS quake be to the LA area? I know the higher the number on the Richter Scale the more devastating the quake, but would a 7.5 quake see parts of the California coast break off and become islands? What are the figures for loss of life in a 7.5 quake? What are the potential costs—monetarily–to rebuild after the devastation of a 7.5 quake? I will do some research on this myself, but there are well informed individuals here so I’ll ask here as well.

  9. 90404

    Elaine, someone mentioned the NZ quake.
    Were a few mossad found there at that time?

  10. Wondering if my Arizona home will turn into beachfront property…

  11. Andrew


    Apparently NZ is also considered a good place to get fake passports, because NZ passports are treated with less suspicion or disdain in most of the world than many other nationalities (probably because there are so few of us that people haven’t figured us out yet).

  12. 90404

    Thanks Andrew. I wonder what Mossad is up to.

  13. 90404

    The PM of NZ is a jew. Gawd.

  14. 90404

    I love this part, ‘Shemi Tzur, the Israeli ambassador in Wellington, denied the allegations and dismissed them as “science fiction.”‘

  15. Peter

    Hans, you make several assumptions without any information,one of which is I am American.I am not.I leave it at that.

  16. PFO

    Hello Elaine,

    “And if California slides into the ocean
    as the mystics and statistics claim it will.
    I predict this hotel will be standing
    until I my my bill.


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