Southern California could be overdue for a major earthquake
Southern California could experience the deadly effects of a major earthquake that's long overdue in the region, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Researchers looked at a 100-mile stretch of the San Andreas fault along the Grapevine north of LA that hadn't been studied much before.
They found earthquakes happen there about every 100 years.
It's been 160 years since the last major quake.
Researchers say the land on either side has been pushing against the other at a rate of more than 1 inch per year since 1857. All of that built up energy will be unleashed in a major quake.
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Land along the fault would move by several feet! All of that shaking would tear up Interstate 5.
The study's lead author tells the LA Times, "It would impact our ability to be a world-class city."
But the quakes don't happen like clockwork.
Science says the area is overdue for a rumbling, but it could be possible that it's decades away.
The geologists found several gaps between quakes -- three took longer than 160 years to hit again.
So it's still a guessing game.
But Dr. Scharer has some bad news.
"Longer gaps have happened in the past, but we know they always do culminate in a large earthquake. There's no getting out of this."
Even though the San Andreas fault is 30 miles from downtown LA, big quakes on the fault are expected to rattle the city.