California faces more than a lack of rain. The Los Angeles Times declared that California is in an earthquake drought, and the end of the drought will bring destructive results.
When Will the Next Big Earthquake Strike?
In this L.A. Times article, experts paint a clear (and unsettling) picture of a big quake waiting to happen. In fact, California earthquakes are inevitable. We don’t know when or where, but we do know that an earthquake will happen:
“Earthquakes must happen at some point to relieve the immense tectonic forces that are pushing part of the state northwest toward Alaska and the rest southeast toward Mexico.”L.A. TIMES
While it could be nice to say this drought is good news–who doesn’t like a break from earthquakes, right? –it isn’t. A drought means that there has been more time for tension to build up in the earth’s crust without a way to relieve the tension:
“[There may be periods] where things get kind of all locked up and no earthquakes happen for a while. You store a lot of strain in the Earth’s crust. Once it gets going, it’s like a set of dominoes. You might get multiple events if you have enough strain energy stored in the crust because it’s been a long time since an earthquake.”Tom Jordan, USC Professor
The New Earthquake Era
This drought also means that Californians aren’t necessarily prepared for a large-scale quake. The last California earthquake that was greater than 7 magnitude was in 1857. The 6.7 magnitude Northridge quake was in 1994 and the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta quake was in 1989. There are people alive today who have no personal experience with earthquakes of this size, and there isn’t anyone alive today that would have experienced a California quake as big as the earthquake of 1857.
Experts say that it’s important to be prepared. There is, potentially, an entirely new era of earthquakes looming ahead with more frequent (or destructive) events.
What does that new era look like? Are you prepared for the end of the drought? Now is the time to ask yourself these questions and get prepared.