Major Earthquake to Hit California – Forecast

by Cynthia De Castro/

LOS ANGELES – A new research study released Monday reported that Southern California is likely to experience an earthquake of 6.7 magnitude or greater in the next 30 years. Researchers found that there’s a 46% chance of a magnitude 7.5 or greater temblor striking in the next few decades.

The study marks a rare effort to actually forecast the likelihood of a major temblor in California known as “earthquake country.” The report is significant because such a large temblor could cause billions of dollars in damage as well as loss of life.

“This new, comprehensive forecast advances our understanding of earthquakes and pulls together existing research with new techniques and data,” explained USGS geophysicist and lead scientist Ned Field in a statement. “Planners, decision makers and California residents can use this information to improve public safety and mitigate damage before the next destructive earthquake occurs.”

The forecasts were made by combining “information from seismology, earthquake geology, and geodesy [measuring precise locations on the Earth’s surface. For the first time, probabilities for California having a large earthquake in the next 30 years can be forecast statewide.

Study participants include the US Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center.


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