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Impactful faults around the Coachella Valley

The San Andreas Fault gets a lot of attention, but it's not the only fault that could have a big impact on the Coachella Valley.

Looking at the Community Fault Model by the Southern California Earthquake Center, there are roughly 26 fault zones from I-40 in San Bernardino County, to the Mexico border, and west just past the San Jacinto Mountains.

Community Fault Model Viewer - Southern California Earthquake Center

Dr. Kate Scharer, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, still refers to the San Andreas Fault as "the big winner" but noted the San Jacinto Fault or the Imperial Fault, which had major earthquakes in 1940 and 1979, could still be impactful to the Coachella Valley.

Since the start of the year, there have been six earthquakes that have exceeded a magnitude of 4.0 nearby. Scharer explained that this count is "pretty typical" for the region.


“It doesn't really matter if it's the San Andreas, or the San Jacinto, or some fault you've never heard of nearby. They can all produce really intense shaking if a large earthquake happens on them," she explained, "So it sort of doesn't matter who causes it. What matters is how you're going to respond to it.”

An earthquake can occur at any time. Stay prepared by making a plan ahead of the next disaster. Food and water are critical resources but there are many other supplies to consider. You can find a complete list at

If you'd like to learn more about how to protect yourself during an earthquake, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

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Haley Clawson


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