Bay Area Earthquakes Rattle Unusual Area of San Andreas Fault

Posted October 17, 2019, under Blog

Tuesday’s 4.7 magnitude quake, just east of Monterey Bay, struck an unusual part of the San Andreas fault.

Though no major damage was incurred, the earthquake was felt throughout the region and was followed by a 3.4 magnitude aftershock.

Tuesday’s earthquake served as an important reminder about California’s active San Andreas fault – the same fault line that’s been responsible for producing large quakes in both Northern and Southern California.

The 4.7 magnitude quake has scientists particularly interested in it because it occurred along a notably inactive modern area of the fault.

“This is the 10th earthquake larger than magnitude 4 in the last 20 years in this area” [within the radius of about six miles from Tuesday’s epicenter], Keith Knudsen, USGS geologist, said about the temblor.

While this stretch of the San Andreas fault line hasn’t produced many earthquakes in the last 20 years, this same area (about 300 miles of the northern area of the San Andreas fault) was responsible for producing the devastating 1906 earthquake that left much of San Francisco in flames and ruin.

Called as the “creeping” section of the fault, this area stretches from Monterey Country in Northern California to San Bernardino Country in Southern California.

If a large quake were to occur along the northern or southern sections of the San Andreas fault, the impact would be devastating to the nearby regions.

According to a new hypothetical scenario published by the U.S. Geological Survey, if a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred along any part of the 185-mile section of the San Andreas fault line – from Imperial County to Los Angeles County – this quake could kill as many as 1,800 people, injure 5,000, and displace 500,000  to 1 million people from their homes.

Most older homes in Southern California are lacking the modern reinforcements necessary to protect the property from damage and/or destruction if a large quake were to occur.

Earthquake retrofitting is essential for protecting your property from severe earthquake damage, as the updated reinforcements will help keep your home secured to its foundation in the midst of the intense side-to-side and back-and-forth shaking that occurs during a large earthquake.

In addition to getting your home foundation or soft story structure seismically retrofitted, you should prepare an earthquake emergency kit with enough food, water, first aid and medications to last each member and pet in your household for at least three days.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors, earthquake retrofitting, and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 30,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

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