Ventura Fault Could Produce 8.0-Earthquake, ‘Severe’ Tsunami

Tsunami Zone (Charles Wagner / Flickr / Cropped)
Charles Wagner / Flickr / Cropped

New research suggests that a fault underneath the city of Ventura, roughly one hour northwest of L.A., could produce an 8.0-magnitude earthquake, as well as “severe” tsunamis previously thought impossible in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

While earthquakes on the Ventura fault are historically less frequent than along the San Andreas fault, they could be far more severe, according to research by several universities and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Tsunamis are generally not associated with the San Andreas fault, because its quakes occur inland, the Times notes. However, the Ventura fault is along the coast. The Japanese tsunami of 2011 reached California after weakening as it crossed the Pacific Ocean, killing one person.

However, a tsunami from Alaska could be devastating, and the new findings suggest there may be more room for concern about California-generated tsunamis than previously thought.