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Probability of a Major Earthquake
Los Angeles Region
Earthquake damage in Northridge, 1994. Photo courtesy of FEMA.
Within the next 30 years (from 2014), the probability of a major earthquake in the Los Angeles region is:
Magnitude 6.7: 93% (Equivalent to 1994 Northridge Earthquake)
Magnitude 7.0: 75% (Very serious damage throughout large area; 2.8 times the destructive energy release of magnitude 6.7)
Magnitude 7.5: 36% (Considerable damage to most buildings; 15.8 times the destructive energy release of magnitude 6.7)
Magnitude 8.0: 7% (Tremendous destruction & loss of life everywhere; 89.1 times the destructive energy release of magnitude 6.7)
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
See Richter Magnitude Scale for a description of the impact of various magnitude levels.
Southern California is Overdue for a Major Earthquake
Geologists warn us that Southern California is overdue for a major and possibly catastrophic earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. At magnitude 7.8 or higher, it will be a beast.