Better get ready for “The Big One”May 11 2016 · 0 comments · NISHKIAN MONKS, Seismic ·0
Over the past few months, major earthquakes have shaken areas around the world. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador on April 16 has killed at least 659 people, and more than 27,732 others were injured. The quake, Ecuador’s worst in decades, destroyed or damaged about 1,500 buildings, triggered mudslides and left some 20,500 people sleeping in shelters, according to the government. Japan was also hit with a series of earthquakes last month killing at least 49 people and injured about 3,000 others in total. Severe damage occurred in Kumamoto and Ōita Prefectures, with numerous toppled buildings, collapsed bridges and shredded structures into pile of debris.
Here in the United States, a swarm of earthquakes has been recorded beneath volcanic Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington. The U.S. Geologic Survey reports that there have been 130 small earthquakes beneath the volcano in the last eight weeks, and that the seismic activity has been increasing since March to the current average of about 40 temblors per week. Fortunately, USGS officials say that Mount St. Helens is just recharging its magma, and that “there is no sign that Mount St. Helens will erupt anytime soon.”
Meanwhile scientists are reminding Californians again to brace for “the big one.” According to Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, who spoke at last week’s National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach, “The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight and the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go.” The earthquake expert also noted that it’s been well over a hundred years since the fault’s last major tremor, and that it is important the state of California prepares to be rocked by a quake as strong as 8 on the Richter scale. Check out this simulation by the Southern California Earthquake Center showing the impact of an 8.0-magnitude earthquake on the San Andreas fault. For the detailed report by Rong-Gong Lin II of Los Angeles Times, click here.
Seismologists cannot predict exactly when “the big one” will happen, and nobody really knows when the next big earthquake along the San Andreas fault will be. However, Californians can prepare for what will come. Now is the time to upgrade infrastructure, early warning systems, and education on earthquake preparedness before it is too late. Preparedness is key to surviving a major earthquake or any natural disaster. Nishkian engineers have extensive experience in seismic upgrades and retrofitting. Our engineers keep up to date with ever changing building codes and state of the art solutions to address these challenges. To learn more about our seismic rehabilitation and retrofit work or if you have questions about seismic strengthening, please contact any of our offices.
For more information about protecting yourself during an earthquake, visit our previous blog post on “Duck, Cover, and Hold On.” And for more tips on how to prepare for an earthquake, visit these established earthquake safety experts:
Rong-Gong Lin II. “San Andreas fault ‘locked, loaded and ready to roll’ with big earthquake, expert says.” Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2016.
SCEC. “M8 Simulation on the San Andreas Fault.” YouTube, 5 July 2013