San Andreas Fault Threatens SoCal, Coachella Valley

The San Andreas Fault threatens to cause tremendous physical damage to Southern California when “the big one” strikes, experts say, with the site of the infamous Coachella Music & Arts Festival being hit hardest of all.

During the National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach on Wednesday, a leading earthquake scientist said Southern California’s section of the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll,” according to the Los Angeles Times. He added that the coming quake, which could reach a stunning 8.0 magnitude, will cause the strongest shaking in the Coachella Valley, Inland Empire and Antelope Valley, but that it also could send a series of strong shaking into the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles.

The Times notes that although the San Andreas fault does not reach directly into Los Angeles, shaking seismic waves will still make their way into the region, with one video shows strong ground-shaking stretching from northern San Diego County to Barstow.

The Times cites a 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report that warns a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault would cause more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries and $200 billion in damage, among other things.

Other reports indicate that the tension between two tectonic plates near the Aleutian Islands in southwestern Alaska could cause a quake big enough to send a giant tsunami charging directly at California.

On Wednesday, January 6, an earthquake with a magnitude 4.5 quake struck off the inland region of Southern California.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz 


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