The San Andreas fault just got a little scarier.
According to new data, one area of the active San Andreas fault line could lead to major destruction if ruptured during an earthquake.
Tucked between the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass, the area of the fault likewise functions as an aqueduct that provides many areas of Southern California with water from the Colorado River.
And according to earthquake experts, if a massive quake occurred along the San Andreas fault line and collapsed passes like San Gorgonio – and other areas like the Cajon Pass and Tejon Pass — it would cut off resources like power, water, oil and gas for weeks and even months to many parts of So. Cal.
Another scary scenario would be an earthquake originating at the Salton Sea, making its way to the center of Los Angeles. Though such a quake has never been recorded, seismologists says there’s a definite possibility this could be in Southern California’s future.
If an earthquake started in the Salton Sea, it’d have to be a 8.2 in magnitude to eventually land near Paso Robles.
Since earthquakes started being recorded, a quake has occurred along the San Andreas fault line – near areas like the Grapevine – every 100 years, and it’s been 160 years since the last major earthquake occurred there.
“With 300 miles of fault all going in the same earthquake, you have everybody affected at the same time,” seismologist Lucy Jones told the L.A. Times. “The San Andreas is the one that will produce the earthquake that’s going to cause damage in every city.”
Meaning, everywhere from Santa Barbara to San Diego would be affected at the same time, limiting emergency resources and response.
While scientists estimate that the San Andreas fault has moved 22 miles in the last million years, there’s still no telling when the next “Big One” will hit.
Nevertheless, Los Angeles is staying committed to improving earthquake safety. New laws and regulations have ensured that older buildings throughout the city undergo retrofits and an early earthquake warning system is close to completion.
Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.