Tuesday, March 18, 2014

West Coast Shake-Up, Seismic Drought Over?

Lake Tahoe is not immune to quakes. We have 3 faults. A
major quake could trigger a seiche, as it did centuries ago.
By Cal Orey

As a California native, author of The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes, earthquake sensitive, and intuitive, I admit the recent shakers are no surprise. In my monthly Earth Changes column for Oracle 20/20 Magazine, January 2014 issue, my forecasts included the West Coast would rock and produce a major shaker, most likely in regions including Offshore NorCal, and SoCal (Greater Los Angeles). And that it is. (Worse, I discovered last night that I'm hardly alone in my California earthquake prediction.)

Last Monday night, I was a News Segment guest on Coast to Coast AM. I spoke to host George Noory about the 6.8 Offshore Northern California. This seismically active region shook and the quake was widely felt but no damage or injuries. Last night, I spoke about the shallow and widely felt quake in San Fernando Valley that hit yesterday morning on St. Patrick's Day before 6:30 AM. More than 9000 people reported to the USGS that they felt the sharp jolt that lasted at least 10 seconds. It occurred during the time of the Full Moon (believed to be a time when earthquakes can and do happen sometimes great shakers).

This Golden State wake-up call of quakes takes me back to 2005, mid June when we had a 7.2 and 6.7 Offshore NorCal; two strong quakes in SoCal--like a trigger effect. At the time, my book on quakes was in production and ready to be released in 2006. The publisher considered an earlier pub date, especially since I covered the Indian Ocean quake-tsunami(s) that happened on December 26, 2004. And the thing is, we too, in California are not immune to a big wave happening on our coastline. 

The Cascadia Subduction Zone could and has been the place where a 9.0 would be the place where a great quake may hit. And SoCal isn't off the map either. When I was doing a quake book tour down South I recall driving on the coastal highway and seeing the tsunami signs on the the side of the road. It is a reality.  

So we wait. Yesterday's morning quake and today's Offshore NorCal "aftershock" of 4.4 (I got a shakemail this a.m.) are cues that we Californians may be next in line for a significant earthquake in the upcoming days, weeks, or months. And it's time to get prepared. No, our state may not literally fall off into the Pacific Ocean, but fresh water flooding, landslides, devastation could happen when the next major earthquake rocks California, whether it is north or south. On a final note: A major earthquake could even happen at Lake Tahoe where I reside near three fault lines and a place where a big wave occurred centuries ago and changed the geography of the West Shore.

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