THE Big One is the name of an earthquake expected to strike along the southern San Andreas Fault in California in the coming years, and is predicted to be of magnitude 8.0 or greater.
The earthquake could potentially produce catastrophic devastation in San Francisco, Palms Springs and Los Angeles, although nobody knows exactly when it might happen.
Here is more on the Big One and how it would affect the West coast.
What is the Big One?
The Big One is a massive earthquake prediction by seismologists set to occur along the southern San Andreas Fault, in California, which would impact cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
It could also take down some of the state’s biggest roads, the I-15, the I-10 and the I-5.
How big would the Big One earthquake be?
The magnitude of the earthquake would be believed to be 8.0 or greater in the Richter scale which is typically numbered from 1-10.
The Big One could cause catastrophic damage to human civilization as water and electricity supplies would be impacted, as would roads, buildings and other infrastructure.
When will the Big One happen?
Scientists do not have an exact time frame of when the earthquake could occur.
However, small foreshocks before the big shock can be an indicator that an earthquake is about to occur.
California is located over massive fault lines, one being the San Andreas Fault.
The San Andreas Fault is a continental transform fault that spans 750 miles through California. The fault moves via tectonic plates sliding past each other horizontally.
On average, the San Andreas Fault’s plates move significantly every 150 years.
The southern parts of the fault have remained inactive for over 200 years.
If the Big One were to strike the West coast, it could kill about 1,800 people and leave 50,000 or more with injuries.
However it is unlikely the earthquake would cause a tsunami because the fault is located on land, and is a horizontally rather than vertically moving fault.
How many earthquakes occur each year?
- The National Earthquake Information Center now locates about 20,000 earthquakes around the globe each year, or approximately 55 per day
- Scientists expect about 16 major earthquakes to hit each year
- In the past 40-50 years, records show that we have exceeded the long-term average number of major earthquakes about a dozen times
- The largest total of major earthquakes in 2010 were 24
How do you prepare for the Big One?
Since there is no set date on when this earthquake could occur, the most important thing is to prepare in the event that it does.
Experts suggest having a meeting place set and have plenty of water available should chaos ensue.
Experts advise households to prepare as if they were headed on a two week-long camping trip.
Canned food, water, first aid kit, and a pair of easily accessible closed-toe shoes are recommended.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/1500391/big-one-earthquake-prediction-san-francisco-fault-lines/