Scientists in Northern California have discovered two fault lines linked together just north of San Francisco. The scientists warn that this discovery brings to light a new risk of a dangerous earthquake for nearly seven million Bay Area residents.
Reports from CBS News say that some 1,200 emergency responders took part in a drill for earthquakes on Thursday, November 17. In Los Angeles, hundreds of engineers, scientists and politicians gathered on Friday, November 18, to discuss the potential of the next big earthquake.
The drill prepares responders for a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that could hit California. The drill includes rescuing someone from an elevator shaft and having specially trained dogs search for stranded survivors. This will help the emergency responders prepare for the real thing.
Major Richard Chappell said, “We want to be the best prepared, the best trained and the most efficient as possible.”
These extreme scenarios may not stay just scenarios. With the threat of the new massive quake, they may become reality. USGS scientists recently used an acoustic device to discover that two of America’s most deadly faults that had been believed to be two miles apart, are connected. This creates one massive 118-mile long fault. Scientists confirmed that the Roger Creek fault meets the Hayward fault in the shallow waters of the San Pablo Bay near San Francisco.
USGS geophysicist Janet Watt stated, “The longer a fault, the larger an earthquake can produce, and if Hayward and Rogers Creek faults went together along their entire length, it would up to a magnitude 7.4.”
Watt went on to tell CBS News that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake would cause more damage than that of Hurricane Katrina. Watt advised, “Folks in the Bay Area need to be prepared for a strong earthquake.”
Watt and her team of geologists continue to study the time stamps in the sediment along the fault line to help scientists understand and prepare for the damage this potential earthquake could cause.