The Big One ?


A swarm of minor earthquakes near California’s Salton Sea is raising concern about the potential for a larger temblor at the state’s San Andreas Fault.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the dozens of tremors began in the early morning on Monday, ranging in size from a 2.6 magnitude quake to a 4.6 magnitude quake northwest of Palm Springs and the Salton Sea.

The swarm marks only the fourth time in almost 90 years of modern seismology records that such an incident has occurred in that part of the Golden State.

The area is overdue for a “Big One.” Larger-scale quakes on the San Andreas Fault are expected every 200 years on average, and the southern area has not seen action since 1680 to 1690.


  1. The Hayward/Rogers Creek fault is also over due, it last let go in 1868 and a 6.8 to 7.0 quake is what to expect.

    There are 4 oil refineries on or within a short distance of the fault, along with a lot of other critical infrastructure.
    Amusingly the disaster coordination center for the entire Bay Area was built during the 1950’s to withstand atomic bombs…it is underground and spang in the middle of the fault.

  2. Quakes are very difficult to predict, especially in California, where the geological situation is so fluid.

    Having lived through two reasonably substantial quakes in California, I can say this: The problem in California is two-fold:

    a) their infrastructure,
    b) the low amount of common sense in their population.

    The stupidity on display in California during quakes is something to behold. People “know” they live in a quake zone, but most (probably 75%) of the population haven’t given five minutes’ thought to what they’re going to do when (not if) a quake happens.

    So they go running around like a bunch of fools without brains, and local governments become overwhelmed.

  3. DG, that’s harsh.
    I’m in Sonoma County and some local politicians have an IQ higher than room temperature.
    When the air conditioning is running full blast.


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