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Research Earthquake In Southern California Essay

1219 words - 5 pages

Rockin' in Southern CaliforniaSouthern California is one of the most desirable locations in which to reside in the United States of America. A person can be at the beach in the morning and skiing the slopes in the afternoon. The weather leaves nothing to be desired, unless, of course, one enjoys shoveling snow. In Southern California there are hiking, camping, fishing, theater, the arts, museums, space observatories, and the movie capital of the world, Hollywood. Southern California is not plagued by hurricanes, tornadoes, or tsunamis. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?Southern California does have a geologic feature that may be a cause of consternation to some, earthquake faults. While earthquakes are terrifying to some people, those residing in and along fault lines are almost lackadaisical in their attitude toward earthquakes (Brunious & Warner). According to a University of Michigan study, 48% of the people surveyed that had experienced a loss over $1,000 have taken no precautionary measures against future earthquake damage, and 79.9% of those who had not experienced any loss in the past have taken no precautionary measures. This carefree indifference to the likelihood of a catastrophic event is unimaginable to people living outside the region. There are many precautionary measures that can and should be taken by those living in earthquake-prone areas in preparation for a large magnitude earthquake.Quantifiable MeasuresThere have been several major earthquakes in California in the recent history. In 1971, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook the San Gabriel Mountains near San Fernando. The temblor, that lasted about 60 seconds, injured over 2,000 people and killed 65. Property damage was estimated at $505 million. According to the USGS, there were no foreshocks recorded. In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the San Francisco bay area. The destruction caused by this magnitude 6.9 event took 63 lives and a financial loss estimated at $5.9 billion. Although this earthquake happened in Northern California, the San Andreas Fault on which the activity occurred runs down through Southern California. "The segment of fault that ruptured approximately coincided with a fault segment identified in 1988 as having a 30% probability of generating a M7 earthquake in the next 30 years." (Bakun & Prescott) In January 19941994, Southern California experienced the Northridge quake, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that left 20,000 homeless, killed 60, and injured more than 7,000 people. Damages were estimated at $13 to $20 billion.Earthquakes occur every day in Southern California. The magnitude of the quakes is so slight that humans do not feel them, but the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) and the Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) record the frequency and magnitude of the tremors. There were 20 earthquakes recorded in California on Thanksgiving Day and 26 earthquakes measuring 2.0 or greater recorded in Southern California this past...

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