Disasters

46 Earthquakes Have Shaken California Over The Past 24 Hours

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It appears that something unusual is happening along the California coastline. Over the past 24 hours, California has been hit by 46 earthquakes. That is approximately twice the normal daily number, and much of the shaking has taken place in the southern part of the state. In recent weeks I have been writing repeatedly about the alarming seismic activity that we have been seeing along the west coast, and many believe that the potential for a megaquake is significantly higher than normal right now. Unfortunately, most residents of California are not paying any attention to what is going on at all, and so if there is a major event they will be completely blindsided by it.

 

When a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck near Julian, California on Wednesday, that immediately got my attention, and that quake was followed very rapidly by several others

The shaking began at 4:33 p.m. on Wednesday when a 4.0 quake occurred nearly 10 miles beneath the earth’s surface, just east of the Earthquake Valley fault, one of the most active systems in Southern California. The temblor had originally been listed at 4.2.

The main shock was followed five minutes later by a 3.0 aftershock in the same spot. Then a 3.6 quake occurred near the same spot at 7:57 p.m. Wednesday.

Seismologists say that a 3.6 quake broke in the same area at 2:32 a.m. on Thursday, continuing the seismic spasm.

Of course Julian is not the only one that has seen a substantial earthquake over the past 24 hours. Just 6 hours ago, a magnitude 3.2 earthquake struck Gonzales, California. Anything in the magnitude 3 or magnitude 4 range is not going to cause any significant damage, but the concern is that these smaller quakes may be building up to something larger.

According to a study published by the USGS, there is a “99% chance” that California will be hit by a major earthquake within the next 30 years

In a 2008 study, the US Geological Survey found there’s a greater than 99% chance of a 6.7 magnitude quake or larger hitting the California area over the next 30 years. That type of quake along the San Andreas Fault in Southern California could kill an estimated 1,800 people, the study said, injure 53,000 and result in $214 billion in damage. California’s infrastructure could be crippled for weeks, if not months.

Such an event would definitely be catastrophic, but California could definitely recover.

However, if the California coastline were to be hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the devastation would be unlike anything that we have ever seen before in American history.

Not too long ago, the Los Angeles Times published an article that discussed what the damage from a magnitude 8.2 earthquake would look like. The following is a short excerpt from that article

Main freeways to Las Vegas and Phoenix that cross the San Andreas fault would be destroyed in this scenario; Interstate 10 crosses the fault in a dozen spots, and Interstate 15 would see the roadway sliced where it crosses the fault, with one part of the roadway shifted from the other by 15 feet, Jones said.

“Those freeways cross the fault, and when the fault moves, they will be destroyed, period,” Jones said. “To be that earthquake, it has to move that fault, and it has to break those roads.”

The aqueducts that bring in 88% of Los Angeles’ water supply and cross the San Andreas fault all could be damaged or destroyed, Jones said.

And remember, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake would be far, far worse than a magnitude 8.2 earthquake.

At the same time all of this shaking has been happening in California, we have also seen very disturbing seismic activity elsewhere on the globe.

For example, just recently a supervolcano in Russia shot hot volcanic ash “six miles into the sky”

A Siberian super-volcano is worrying scientists after it’s shocking and sudden eruption flung hot ash six miles into the sky. This volcano is one of the most active in Russia.

Scientists working at the geophysical department of the Russian Academy of Science in north-eastern Russia’s Kamchatka Krai region have confirmed the giant eruption took place at the site of the Shiveluch Volcano yesterday over a 20 minute period. They also verified and saw the volcano spew piping hot ash 10 kilometers (6 miles) into the sky. So far, no locals or villages have been affected by this volcano’s eruption, but it’s sparking fears that a larger and more powerful explosion could occur in the very near future.

A major eruption of just a single supervolcano anywhere in the world could cast enormous amounts of dust and ash into the atmosphere and cool global temperatures significantly for up to a decade. If that happened, we would see massive crop failures all over the planet and millions upon millions of people could end up dying from the resulting famine.

With each passing year our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and scientists assure us that absolutely cataclysmic seismic events are in our future. Now is the time to get prepared, but unfortunately most people aren’t listening to the warnings.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

 
  • Christopher Feliz

    Michael,

    Read your columns all the time. Great job and great analysis especially on the important social issues of the critical times we live in. The social and political war has been raging for a while and the outcome is still uncertain. Keep up the good work of informing us all.

    I am no earthquake expert but I have been interested in So Cal earthquakes since I was a kid and the Sylmar quake hit and scared the wits out of me. I went through the Northridge quake. I lived about three miles from the epicenter. I thought for about two seconds that this was the “Big One” everyone had been expecting to hit. It wasn’t.

    Since then (1994) I have been daily watching the USGS sites. My amateur research and daily scanning of the earthquakes have led me to some conclusions.

    1. There will be a warning before the “Big One” hits. In 1857 there were very few people around, but there were numerous accounts especially from Fort Tejon after which the eartquake is named. They stated that there was a foreshock that took place sometime in the half hour before the big quake hit. It evidently was from the area around Parkfield which was the real epicenter and not Fort Tejon and the Gorman, Frasier Park area.

    2. There will be quake swarms before the “BIg One” hits. The area around San Juan Baptista was hit by numerous small quakes, swarms, in the two years before the big quake in 1857. This is the same area approximately that is having the swarms which started about three weeks ago.

    3. There will be quakes that hit in the years afterwards on the numerous “sub” faults of the San Andreas as seen after 1857. Some of these were substantial.

    1857 Fort Tejon Earthquake
    1858 San Bernadino Earthquake
    1862 San Diego Earthquake
    1872 Owens Valley Earthquake

    The Anza (Julian Ca) seismic area is and has been very active for ever because of the stress on the lower section of the San Andreas plus its connected to the San Jacinto and Elsinore fault systems. Quakes of less than 4.0 are common. Quakes of higher magnitudes are not too common but happen periodically, 6.4 in 1968 and two quakes in 1987 in the Superstition Hills area 6.2 and 6.6.

    Bottomline: Quakes in Anza are not as significant as the quake swarms east of Salinas and south of San Juan Baptista. People should be getting ready no matter what. But remember always….its on a geologic time scale…could happen in five minutes….could happen in 5 years.