California: Experts Warn of “Catastrophic Earthquake”

Posted February 7, 2023, under Blog

This week’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria highlighted just how violent and deadly a large quake can be. And if you live in an earthquake prone region – like California – now is the time to get serious about earthquake safety.

California’s San Andreas fault has the same capability of producing 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes, just as we saw in southeastern Turkey. And just because the Golden State has been experiencing a seismically “quiet” period … it doesn’t mean that will last forever.

“We’ve had 7.8 earthquakes in our historic past. We’ve had a great run without them, but it’s important to be prepared for these possibilities in the future,” U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist Kate Scharer told the L.A. Times.

In fact, California has already experienced two earthquakes of similar size from the San Andreas fault system. The 1906 earthquake that destroyed much of San Francisco, and the 1857 quake that affected areas from Monterey County all the way to Los Angeles.

“There will be 7.8s in our future. Absolutely. We have the faults, we’ve seen it in the past, it will happen again,” seismologist Lucy Jones said about the sizable shakers. “The timing of them, as far as we can tell, is random. And there’s no way to say when it’s going to be happening. … Compared to the long-term average, we’ve been quiet for a while.”

While California may not experience the same scale of destruction as seen in Turkey and Syria — largely because many of their structures were built before modern building codes and have yet to be updated — it doesn’t mean the damage wouldn’t be extensive.

California has a large number of brittle concrete buildings still in use and lacking modern structural reinforcements to withstand the shaking of a large quake. And while construction codes have been strengthened since the Sylmar and Northridge earthquakes, these regulations primarily affect new construction.

According to earthquake simulations conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in California could cause an estimated 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries, and destroy major power and water systems.

Now is the time to get serious about earthquake preparation and safety. If you own a home in California, it’s vital to have your foundation inspected for any necessary structural upgrades and earthquake retrofits.

Home’s lacking modern earthquake retrofits, or those with severe foundation damage, are more likely to suffer catastrophic destruction during a large quake.

If you think your home may be in need of earthquake retrofitting, foundation repair, or foundation replacement, contact Julian Construction today and we will send one of our foundation specialists out to conduct a free, thorough inspection with a quote for repair.

We have extensive experience serving our Los Angeles community and nearby regions. In fact, Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures in the area! Give us a call at (323) 733-3377 to schedule your free inspection or complete the inspection request form.

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