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Will Northern California earthquakes lead to the next ‘big one’?

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Caution tape hangs near a damaged house after an earthquake in Rio Del, California, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

AP

Repeated earthquakes in Northern California have residents wondering if they’re waiting for the next “big one.”

At least two people were killed and 12 injured after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the small town of Ferndale in Humboldt County on Tuesday, Dec. 20, The Sacramento Bee reported. Aftershocks continued to rattle the region before Thursday, a An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.3 occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area hours after the earlier aftershock.

It will be a big hit California any day,” wrote one user on Twitter. “We’ve been experiencing non-stop earthquakes for a week now.”

They were not the only ones who thought so.

“The big one is coming,” another user wrote. “That’s 3 strong earthquakes across Northern California in about 2 weeks. Demon Oski ready to step out from the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium and start a hobby.”

Someone else said they lived in the area and everyone acted like they didn’t live under constant threat of a major earthquake.

“California is expecting a ‘big one’ in the Bay Area from the San Andreas Fault at any time,” they wrote. “I lived there for 8 years many years ago and we all just played and thought nothing of it.”

So what do the experts say about the risks?

Earthquakes near Ferndale “are not necessarily indicative of a larger earthquake,” Angie Lux told McClatchy News. Lux is a seismologist at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

“However, they are a great reminder that we live in earthquake country and that we need to be prepared for the next big earthquake,” she said.

For those who don’t know, “big” can come in a variety of sizes, but are generally considered magnitude 7 or higher and occur in densely populated areas, Lux said.

Usually magnitude 7 earthquakes classified as very strongcausing significant damage to poorly constructed structures, but they pose a minimal hazard to well-designed buildings, according to the modified Mercalli intensity scale (MM).

When strong earthquakes occur in remote areas, they do not quite meet the criteria of “major”.

“That would be very different than a magnitude 7 that occurs on the Hayward Fault or the San Andreas Fault,” she said.

The Bay Area has several faults capable of producing large, destructive earthquakes, she said.

As reported by McClatchy News, the area where the earthquakes occur is where three tectonic plates meet, called the Mendocino Triple Junction. The North American, Pacific and Gorda plates meet here.

“By looking at the historical record, we can see how often these earthquakes have occurred in the past and say, ‘Well, based on that, we’re overdue for an earthquake in this area,'” she said. “We could get one any day – it could be tomorrow or 100 years from now.”

Brooke (she/they) is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter covering LGBTQ+ news and national parks in the West. They studied journalism at the University of Florida and previously covered LGBTQ+ news for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. When they are not writing stories, they enjoy spending time with their cats, horseback riding, or spending time outdoors.



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Will Northern California earthquakes lead to the next ‘big one’?

title=

Caution tape hangs near a damaged house after an earthquake in Rio Del, California, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

AP

Repeated earthquakes in Northern California have residents wondering if they’re waiting for the next “big one.”

At least two people were killed and 12 injured after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the small town of Ferndale in Humboldt County on Tuesday, Dec. 20, The Sacramento Bee reported. Aftershocks continued to rattle the region before Thursday, a An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.3 occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area hours after the earlier aftershock.

It will be a big hit California any day,” wrote one user on Twitter. “We’ve been experiencing non-stop earthquakes for a week now.”

They were not the only ones who thought so.

“The big one is coming,” another user wrote. “That’s 3 strong earthquakes across Northern California in about 2 weeks. Demon Oski ready to step out from the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium and start a hobby.”

Someone else said they lived in the area and everyone acted like they didn’t live under constant threat of a major earthquake.

“California is expecting a ‘big one’ in the Bay Area from the San Andreas Fault at any time,” they wrote. “I lived there for 8 years many years ago and we all just played and thought nothing of it.”

So what do the experts say about the risks?

Earthquakes near Ferndale “are not necessarily indicative of a larger earthquake,” Angie Lux told McClatchy News. Lux is a seismologist at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

“However, they are a great reminder that we live in earthquake country and that we need to be prepared for the next big earthquake,” she said.

For those who don’t know, “big” can come in a variety of sizes, but are generally considered magnitude 7 or higher and occur in densely populated areas, Lux said.

Usually magnitude 7 earthquakes classified as very strongcausing significant damage to poorly constructed structures, but they pose a minimal hazard to well-designed buildings, according to the modified Mercalli intensity scale (MM).

When strong earthquakes occur in remote areas, they do not quite meet the criteria of “major”.

“That would be very different than a magnitude 7 that occurs on the Hayward Fault or the San Andreas Fault,” she said.

The Bay Area has several faults capable of producing large, destructive earthquakes, she said.

As reported by McClatchy News, the area where the earthquakes occur is where three tectonic plates meet, called the Mendocino Triple Junction. The North American, Pacific and Gorda plates meet here.

“By looking at the historical record, we can see how often these earthquakes have occurred in the past and say, ‘Well, based on that, we’re overdue for an earthquake in this area,'” she said. “We could get one any day – it could be tomorrow or 100 years from now.”

Brooke (she/they) is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter covering LGBTQ+ news and national parks in the West. They studied journalism at the University of Florida and previously covered LGBTQ+ news for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. When they are not writing stories, they enjoy spending time with their cats, horseback riding, or spending time outdoors.



Reported by Source link

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