Earthquake Prediction is Getting Easier and Easier

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You don’t have to be from Los Angeles to know that Southern California and California in general is an earthquake haven.  A lot of California resident have become used to the eminent threat of the "big one." For those of you who may not know about the big one, it's an earthquake that scientist predict should hit California...soon. This earthquake originates off of the San Andreas fault. The popular saying that comes along with this earthquake is that it's not matter of "if" but a matter of "when." Luckily for us, scientists are working to develop technology that will predict earthquakes the same way weather is predicted. The way this would work is by looking at how many small earthquakes hit the San Andreas fault at a given time and then coming up with a percent chance of experiencing the “big one” But after all a forecast is just a forecast and it guarantees nothing. ““You and I probably wouldn’t carry an umbrella if the probability of rain was 1% to 5% … [But] the consequence of missing a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake on the San Andreas is a very, very serious consequence,” said James Goltz, a former emergency manager on earthquake hazards for the state.

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It’s true, a “heads-up” before an earthquake would be nice. But I wonder, would alerting people of a possibility of an earthquake create more harm? People have tendencies to react in extreme ways when they are frightened. A premature warning can cause people to lash out. I’m all for earthquake safety and definitely do not discount the fact that earthquake alerts can be the next best thing.

 

*Information based on LA Times Article 

*Image courtesy of Giphy