Quadruple Hit: Consecutive Earthquakes Strike California

Zach Friedman, Segments Editor

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    On this day, May 8th, Californians were shaken awake as two earthquakes, of 4.5 and 3.2 magnitude, struck back-to-back. These were not the first jolts experienced recently, though, as two quakes struck yesterday. On Monday, there was a 2.5 and 4.5.

    Incidents like these are not uncommon in California, as the state is known for sustaining earthquakes on a daily basis. However, these earthquakes come during a worrisome time for California, as scientists are warning the state that a major earthquake will happen soon. While many experienced Californians may have slept through these four earthquakes, it’s time we all “wake up” to the fact that a huge earthquake will inevitably come soon.

    The last major earthquake to hit California was the Loma Prieta Earthquake. This massive quake struck the Central Coast and Bay Area of California. It is estimated that it cost almost 6 billion dollars in damage. Additionally, 63 lives were lost. The Loma Prieta was a 6.9 magnitude monster, which may not seem much higher than the “mild” 4.5’s that have hit today, but the richter scale does not work how one might expect.

    On the richter scale, a 5.0 earthquake is only one number higher than a 4.0, but is actually ten times stronger. Therefore, a 6.0 is 100 times stronger than a 4.0. So, imagine an earthquake over 100 times stronger than the 4.5, and you have the Loma Prieta. This may sound daunting, but it is important to be aware of these figures. Seriously, there may be a huge earthquake soon, and Californians must be ready.

    Experts agree that, given the long history of earthquakes in the state of California, and the nature of the infamous San Andreas Fault, the question is not if there will be a large earthquake in California, but when. At any given time, there is a 1/10,000 chance that a 7.8 magnitude quake will strike along the San Andreas Fault, but when a moderate quake hits the fault, the odds rise to 1/100.

    That’s why, especially during shaky times like these, it is important to be aware of the chance of an earthquake. Whether it be understanding earthquake survival procedures, or quake-proofing your home, being prepared is the ultimate way to ensure safety through a huge earthquake. So next time you feel a small jolt, be grateful that it was not bigger, because giant quakes are sure to come.

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Quadruple Hit: Consecutive Earthquakes Strike California