Earthquake Red ALERT – Happening THIS Year!

There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on in the Golden State, and soon there could be a whole lot more. According to a new study out of California, the San Andreas fault could let loose a quake measuring magnitude 6 or more in the next few months.

The study reports that such quakes happen, on average, every twenty-two years in the Central California stretch of the notorious fault known as the “Parkland section.” The stretch runs from Palm Springs in the south to Eureka in the north. The last time this area broke loose as in 2004, when a magnitude-6 quake struck the area. Before that, in 1983, a magnitude-6.7 shaker rattled residents. A 6.0 quake struck in 1960, and the 1934 quake in the same area was measured at 6.5.

This puts the Parkland stretch on schedule to hit the end of its quiet period this year, said Luca Malagini, the study’s lead researcher.

The San Andreas fault is closely monitored due to longstanding fears of the “Big One,” a term referring to any magnitude 7 or better quake that can seriously disrupt population and infrastructure across the most populous areas of the state. According to experts, such a quake, if it strikes in the wrong place at the wrong time, could leave fifty thousand people injured, eighteen hundred people dead, and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.

The 2004 Parkland quake struck on September 20, centered on the town of Parkfield, population thirty-seven. The quake was felt from Sacramento to Orange County, and racked up 150 aftershocks. Contrast the minor inconveniences of that quake with the famous 1989 Loma Prieta quake, magnitude 6.9, which injured nearly thirty-eight hundred people, caused nearly seventeen billion dollars in damage, and killed sixty-three people…all in just 20 seconds.

Scientists with the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology do not know where on the Parkfield section this year’s quake might strikes.