There is a nearly three-in-four chance that the Bay Area will experience a potentially major earthquake in the next 30 years, according to a scientific report of California’s earthquake probabilities, which is the most accurate method of foreseeing seismic future.
The new study calculated a 72 percent chance that a magnitude-6.7 or larger earthquake will hit the Bay Area before the year 2044. The odds of a much larger magnitude-7 quake are 50 percent.
According to the study, the Golden State can expect a magnitude-6.7 quake every 6.3 years. The previous predictions, compiled in the 2008 report, stated that this kind of earthquake can occur every 4.8 years in the area.
The Hayward Fault still seems the most probable to break, while the highest risk of an earthquake in the Bay Area is along a stretch of that fault between Hayward and Milpitas. Here, the risk of a magnitude-6.7 or greater break is 22.3 percent over the next three decades.
The Hayward Fault had accumulated huge amounts of energy, after giving a modest tremor a long time ago, in 1868. The northern San Andreas, which exploded in 1906, devastating much of the Bay Area, has a lower risk of rupturing in the next 30 years, while the risk of break along the South Bay’s Calaveras Fault is 7.4 percent.
The report focuses on the probability of the rupture and does not predict when or where the next earthquake will hit, or what destruction would it bring.
The new analysis will be used to update seismic hazard maps. It can also be used to adapt structural designs of bridges or other public buildings, like hospitals and schools. If the Bay Area always faced a significant risk, California’s situation has depreciated, it’s overall stability being undermined by its two major tectonic plates.
The new study estimates that the chances of California to experience a cataclysmic magnitude-8 or larger earthquake before the year 2044 have increased from about 4.7 percent to 7 percent, while the odds of a magnitude-6.7 quake have decreased
Almost 40 million people live in the area, one of the most active seismic zones in the world, and the risks they face are huge: lives, housing, businesses and communication infrastructures being in constant danger.
The southern San Andreas fault poses the greatest risk in the state, with a 19 percent chance of a quake in the next three decades. The San Jacinto fault has a 5 percent change of a magnitude-6.7 rupture.
Image Source: WND