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Seismologists Study Indicates Major Earthquake Expected Soon

The big one could be just around the corner, according to a new joint study out the University of California at Irvine and Arizona State University.

The study shows that more major earthquakes have occured along the San Andreas Fault in the past 700 years than previously thought.

The study focused on the Carrizo Plain portion of the San Andreas Fault, which is about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

According to the study, the last major earthquake to hit that area was more than 150 years ago.

Large ruptures in that area have occured every 45 to 144 years, meaning the big one is overdue.

“We’re prepared, said Kathy Brown, a native Californian. “We’re getting food. We’ve got water.”

Some people in the desert said they try to avoid thinking about the possiblity of a large scale shaker hitting the valley, “Because if I thought about it, then I would find I wouldn’t be able to function very well,” said David, from Hollywood.

Shelly Oliver lived through the Northridge earthquake in 1994.

It shook for 45 seconds, and registered as a magnitude 6.7 and caused an estimated $20 billion in damage.

Oliver said quakes are scary. But not scary enough to consider moving out of the state.

“I’m happy here,” she said. “I think tornadoes would be much more frightening.”

Scientists previously thought the waiting period between major earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault was 200 years.

The new study suggests that gap between 6.5 to 7.9 earthquakes occuring is actually much shorter.

“We’ve always been saying that an earthquake can strike at anytime,” said Kevin Brown, with the Riverside County Fire Department Office of Emergency services.

He said the study won’t change county earthquake procedures. But he believes the findings serve as a reminder for public saftey and the community in general.

“When we find out that the cycle is actually smaller, and that we are more overdue than we already thought,” said Brown. “It helps create a renewed sense of urgency.”

News Channel Three partners with the Coachella Valley Regional Earthquake Warning System, otherwise known as CREWS.

Its an earthquake warning system for local emergency services like the fire department by opening fire doors as soon as an earthquake is detected.

“The difference between earthquake and tornadoes or hurricanes or something like that (is that) they’re over like that,” said Brown. “I know they’re very destructive. But, you know, what can you do? you just gotta live with it.”

“Take care of each other should a terrible incident occur,” said Oliver.

For more information on the CREWS program, log onto, scroll down and click on the CREWS icon inside the KESQ Tool Box.

KESQ News Team


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