Is San Andreas Fault set to wake up in any minute? Following 200 earthquakes which happened in a single day last week, officials in California issued an earthquake alert for residents of Southern California, prompting anxiety among the Californian residents.
To keep the residents well-informed about the impending earthquakes, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a legislation ordering the development of a statewide warning system. The legislation includes rules about informing the residents through telecommunication devices, Fox LA reported.
According to LA Times, the swarm of earthquakes, which began rumbling under the Salton Sea and rupturing near Bombay Beach, gained concern among seismologists and officials because the tremors occurred at the tail end of the mighty San Andreas fault, California's "sleeping giant."
Geoscience News and Information describes San Andreas Fault as the sliding boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The series of quakes might have added stress to the San Andreas Fault which has not ruptured since 1680, making it way overdue for a significant earthquake.
"It's kind of like when you snap your fingers, you know, you load them up and then at some point it exceeds the strength of the interface and it slips," Ramon Arrowsmith, a professor of geology at Arizona State University explained to Arizona's local news site.
As noted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the risk of an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or greater in Southern California increased to between 1 in 300 and 1 in 100 over the weekend. That heightened probability will last through Tuesday.
Quoting experts, Inquisitr writes that if San Andreas Fault wakes up with 7.8 magnitude earthquake, it will be nothing but catastrophic --- at least 2,000 dead, 50,000 injured and $200 billion property damaged.
How can small quakes trigger the awakening of the San Andreas Fault? As explained by Live Science, tiny earthquakes amplify the overall earthquake frequency on a given fault. In this case, it's the San Andreas Fault.
Although official warnings have been raised only to last until Tuesday, the seismic risk is still not over and seismologists warn that everyone should still be wary.
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