What Will Happen When The ‘Big One’ Hits California?

Earthquake Freeway Collapse 450x300 What Will Happen When The Big One Hits California?

On Monday, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake threw the city of Los Angeles into a bit of a tizzy.  The ground shook, people screamed and news anchors ducked under their desks.  But it was just a 4.4 magnitude earthquake.  So what would happen if the “Big One” hit California?  What would happen if an earthquake hundreds of times more powerful than the one that we saw on Monday hit Los Angeles or San Francisco?  We don’t really know what would happen, because nothing like that has happened in modern times.  Fortunately for us, we have been living during a time of extremely low seismic activity in California.  But scientists assure us that will change at some point, and some of them are now warning that when the “Big One” does strike that the devastation could be far worse than people have been imagining.

If you want a good laugh, check out the video that I have posted below.  A couple of news anchors at KTLA literally dove under their desks when the earthquake started shaking their studio, and their reactions are priceless…

Fortunately, this earthquake pretty much turned out to be a non-event.  But according to the Los Angeles Times, there is the possibility that this earthquake could actually have been a “foreshock” of an even larger earthquake that will happen later…

Graves said there is always the small possibility that the 4.4 earthquake was only a prelude to an equal or stronger shake.

“Always the possibility that it’s a foreshock,” Graves said, adding that about 5% of earthquakes are followed by an equal or larger shake and that if it does happen, it would occur within the next several hours.

But Graves did say that “certainly we would expect more aftershocks.”

Let us hope that does not turn out to be the case.

But it does appear that seismic activity in California is starting to pick up.  Earlier in March, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck just off the northern California coastline…

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake off the coast of Northern California on Sunday night was the largest on the West Coast since the 7.2 Baja California quake in 2010.

Sunday’s temblor was followed by a series of at least 13 aftershocks as large as a magnitude 4.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The big quake occurred at 10:18 p.m. in the Pacific Ocean 50 miles west of Eureka in Humboldt County. The USGS put the depth of the quake at about four miles.

And scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for catastrophic destruction in northern California the more that they study the Cascadia fault.  According to one recent study, a 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia fault could produce a giant tsunami that would “wash away coastal towns”…

If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.

A giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.

Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.

But of course when you are talking about the “Big One”, most people think of the San Andreas fault in southern California.

According to recent research conducted by scientists at Stanford and MIT, the damage that a massive earthquake would do to downtown Los Angeles could be up to three times greater than previously believed…

A  seismology study by scientists from Stanford and MIT, published in the journal Science on Friday, finds that if the Big One hits the San Andreas Fault near Palm Springs, some seismic waves will travel near the path of the 10 Freeway into the heart of Los Angeles, where the city and its suburbs will suffer stronger ground motions than previously believed. Downtown L.A. will endure three times the shaking of surrounding areas, scientists now say.

The study shows that a “funneling action” of seismic waves will roll straight into the Los Angeles Basin through a 60-mile-long corridor, striking a 13-million population region that stretches from the Santa Monica Mountains to Newport Bay and inland to the basins of the San Gabriel and Santa Ana rivers. The study confirms a 2006 supercomputer simulation that predicted L.A. could endure worse shaking than long feared.

So when will the “Big One” strike?

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist David Oppenheimer puts it this way

“It could be today. It could be 100 years from now.”

But what we do know is that the “Ring of Fire” is becoming more active, and the California coastline sits right along it.

For example, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit an area just off the northern coast of Chile on Sunday

A strong quake struck off northern Chile on Sunday evening, triggering a preventive evacuation of part of the coastal area but not causing any injuries or damage to the country’s crucial copper mines.

The magnitude 6.7 quake, originally measured as a 7.0, was centered 37 miles west-northwest of Iquique and hit at a depth of 12.4 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The day before that, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the northern coast of Peru.

And at the end of last week we witnessed a whole host of significant earthquake events all over the planet.  The following comes from a recent Extinction Protocol article

In the past 24 hours, the planet has been reeling from a series of moderate earthquakes that have erupted all across the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. It is the most geologically-active region on the planet. In a nearly 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, the region is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. In the past 24 hours, double moderate earthquakes 5.3 and 5.6 magnitude earthquakes have struck Indonesia. A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck NE of San Isidro Philippines. A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck NE of the Iwo Jima Islands of Japan. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck South Central Peru. A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck SE of Easter Island. A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck SE Colombia. A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck WSW of Santa Cruz, Chile. A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck south of the continent of Africa. A 5.2 and 5.0 erupted along the Owen Fracture Zone, west of Africa. A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck Greece. A 4.0 quake was reported NE of Xudat, Azerbaijan. And a 4.8 magnitude earthquake was reported ESE of Mohean, India.

So this latest California earthquake comes in the context of a lot of other seismic activity worldwide.

And without a doubt, the state of California is long overdue for a major earthquake.

It is going to occur at some point.  Everyone agrees on that.

The only question is when it will happen.

Below, I have posted a graphic of the San Andreas fault that was produced by the U.S. government.  As you can see, two tectonic plates are moving past one another.  In fact, scientists tell us that eventually the city of Los Angeles and the city of San Francisco will be right next to one another, although they believe that this will happen over a very long period of time.

San Andreas Fault What Will Happen When The Big One Hits California?

If those tectonic plates start shifting in a very violent manner, is it possible that part of California could fall into the ocean like so many people joke about?

Most scientists insist that could never, ever happen.

Others are not so sure.

What about you?

What do you think will happen when the “Big One” hits California.

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

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27 Responses

  1. Oldphartbsa says:

    Landers-Big Bear was the first earthquake where my feet actually left the ground. We’re due for a 9+; and when it occurs, all focus will be on Los Angeles, San Bernardino and other cities. We on the other side of the mountains will have just as much, if not more, devastation to deal with but we will last to see aid.

    • Hammerstrike says:

      The last to see the “aid” of the looters and moochers.

    • Shan says:

      This scares me. I live in the San Bernardino mountains (about a 30 minute drive from the San Andreas fault).
      I remember Landers. I was 12 and at a slumber party. All us girls screamed and ran out the house in our PJs.

  2. David Rossback says:

    I hope a dozen magnitude 9.9 hit California in less than 24 hours and shakes that place flat .

    • Bryan says:

      be merciful for you shall obtain mercy. California isn’t the only place God’s hand can reach in judgment and why is any other part of our nation better than the other, our nation is like Ninevah when Jonah came to tell them to repent or face God’s judgement and how in anyway are we different than them? i fear though we will not listen as did the ninevites to Jonah. For I the Lord do not change read Hosea 4: 1-3 and 2 Timothy chapter 3 you will see a mirrored image of our land in this day. the Lord is long suffering and willing that none should perish but all come to repentance, and his longsuffering is his loving kindness towards everyone, how long until our cup is measured full of the sins of the land though? Repent and believe upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins! For Christ was our propitiation the sacrificial lamb of God that takes away and washes away all Sin! For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God and the wages off sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that through him we may become the righteouseness of God. That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead you will be saved for it is with your mouth you confess unto salvation and with your heart one believes unto righteousness! For if anyone be in Christ he is a new creation old things have passed behold! ALL things have become new. the choice is yours for it is your sin debt that must be forgiven your actions your words, and it was all paid for you on Calvary’s Cross….FOR HE CRIED TETELESTIA

      • Hiroshi Yamamoto says:

        Your God seems to be a cruel sadist. Punishing and burning in hell forever! But He loves you…

        • jlofurf says:

          And politician and human leaders command your respect because they have workers with guns. Your anger is miss guided and useless.

          • Hiroshi Yamamoto says:

            More anger you can see when the bible thumper threats everybody else with “eternal hell”. This is useless and stupid.

  3. Houtex77 says:

    The increase of the frequency and intensity of earthquakes is just another harbinger that Christ said would proceed His coming. At the same time the planet is reeling with wars and rumors of wars, increasing lawlessness, and the nations threatening Israel with destruction. Thank goodness that Christ will come at just the right time.

  4. DJohn1 says:

    I have lived in California as a child many years ago.
    They have been predicting this big one as long as I can remember.
    When the California animals start leaving watch out. They usually start leaving about 3 days before a big one.
    Sort of like rats leaving a sinking ship.
    Forget the animals, just watch the politicians instead. They have the same prime instincts as the animals.
    Until then I think we are reasonably safe.
    What I see happening is we will have an inland sea where California once was, probably in the form of a penisula of land followed by a sea then followed by the new mainland. Probably followed by several volcanoes creating new land.
    It is possible. I think at that point somewhere in Nevada might be your new beaches. But that is pure guesswork on my part. I really do not know.
    I do know the area south was once an inland sea.
    As for Christ coming back, only the Good God of Creation, who is also his Father knows when that will happen. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was you. If it were me, I would have come back a long time ago and cleaned up this place and sent all the unrepentent sinners to a very warm place. History tells us a little different story.
    The Moslems think he will never come back. That is indicated by their recent treatment of Christians in the Middle East.
    The pattern is the same. People get prosperous. People forget where they came from. People start sinning. Then the contract between God and Mankind comes into play. The entire house of cards comes down and they become poor. When they become poor then they get back with their God and he makes them prosper again. The next generation forgets where they came from.

    • ashlieelizabeth says:

      From what my grandmother quoted from the bible, we were made in god’s image, and we’re pretty bad. if that quote is true, then we are as corrupt as our creator. Afterall, God has killed billions of people, whereas the devil has killed 7. Also something to consider – the devil rebelled against God and apparently encourages us to sin, but if sinning is the devil’s work, then it’s more likely we’ll be rewarded for our downfalls. And considering heaven is supposed to be spent worshipping God – a god who has sat back and let atrocities happen, who has proven himself time and time again hypocritical and somewhat unreasonable with is demands, frankly I’d sooner take my chances in Hell.

      But for those of you in the bible band preaching homophobia – please for the love of God make sure you don’t eat shellfish, wear mixed pure cotton (so you’d better start making your own clothes, because everything these days is synthetic and mixed fibers) and ensure you do no associate with your female friends and relatives while they’re menstruating.

  5. Brian Harrington says:

    I was at universal city hilton at universal studios studio city ca
    staying on the 7th floor this was a 6 and it was more of a thrust kind of quake even at 47 I was a bit scared and shaken I had to down a few cups of coffee to get back on track but the kwl thing was that the hotel had loads of out of towners anywhere from japan to the east coast of usa to china I wold a cpl from MD that they were doing construction on a movie lot to have a bit of humur in the manner but at least you have a story to tell your friends me I been in about 7 quakes since 86 my first was in san diego in july of 86 then in memphis tn in 1991 a few in washington state and in fallon Nv.. and one that hit clexico which was felt here in the LA area but I had a co worker that was in the sanfernando quake in the 70s and also the northridge quake me I had just return back to japan when the northridge quake happened
    but saw the damage when I returned it was something

  6. Thomas Hildebrand says:

    Thus says The Lord, to the generation of His wrath:

    I have trumpeted to you, yet you cover your ears. I shall show signs and wonders the likes of which as has never been seen, indeed many signs are made plain already, yet you cover your eyes. Is this not a small thing for The Lord, and the judgment poured out on Egypt a mere twinkle in the vesture of God’s power?

    Yet you refuse to repent! Neither will you bow down, for your hearts are hard and your mouths vile! Therefore, judgment is come! Judgment shall fall! It shall fall hard upon your backs and be very heavy!… Breaking the backs of the wicked, abasing the proud and humbling the haughty, casting down the high-minded and bringing swift death upon the oppressor! Behold, on the whole multitude, upon every inhabitant of the earth, shall it fall! All shall be broken!… Some broken and lifted up; and many more, broken and condemned.


    Hear the WORD of the LORD spoken to THIS modern generation!…

    Letters from God and His Christ, given to a modern man for modern man’s sake!


    • Hiroshi Yamamoto says:

      Take some chill pill.

    • Hammerstrike says:

      Where is “The Lord” hidding? Why wheren´t the baby boomers judged?

      That judgement should have happened in the 1990s at the very latest, it didn´t.

      Thankfully, there is no need for fire and brimestone, only the consequences of the last few decades coming full-circle.

  7. Arizona says:

    SUCKER=.someone who gets fooled over and over again,YES your government has LIED,and LIED and LIED,and they don’t have to stop lieing,cause the people LOVE having their ears trickled,with sweet lies,…THE HARD CORE TRUTH,the part of the movie 2012,where california was going into the OCEAN,..WAS FILMED LIVE AS IT HAPPENED,soon the entire west coast with slide into the deep water,and there won’t be much warning……and you won’t be laughing when it happens…………….

  8. Chris says:

    I was living in Westhills CA in the San Fernando Valley when the Northridge quake hit. For just a second I thought this was the Big One. It was scary but its strange how quickly we acclimated. That day there were at least several 5+ aftershocks and my wife and childs and I acted like it was no big deal. I remember that night a close to 6 hit and we rode ot out on the coach laughing about when it would stop. A 4.4 and people were whining? That happened almost everyday and eventually died off in the months and years after the Northridge quake.

  9. Bryan says:

    oh lest we forget about tsunami’s as well.

  10. Sandbagger says:

    The collapse of the Cyprus Structure (pictured) was one of the scariest things to see.

    When bridges go down and road traffic is at a halt, people will just have to figure out another way to get where they are going.

    In the case of the Cyprus Structure, anytime I wanted to travel from south to north, I had to go way around that area.

    People will be forced to improvise.

  11. Tatiana Covington says:

    How old is the Earth?

    4,600,000,000 years or so.

    How long have we been doing seismometry?

    1000 years or so (Chinese did it first).

    The sample is way too small.

  12. Hammerstrike says:

    LOL @ the bigoted liberals!

    • joyseeker says:

      Interesting, the terms, “bigoted” and “liberals”. How about giving an articulate reply that delineates a response??

  13. ashlieelizabeth says:

    I am not gay, I’m pansexual, and I’m a female and engaged to the love of my life, who happens to be male.

    And I mean, considering I donated all the money I had to my local church yesterday, and go out of my way to help people, and do my best to love and respect everyone i meet. Without disowning them or preaching hate at them for their own lifestyle choices. I’m probably a better christian than most.

    And you sicken me, on Good Friday of all days, you decide to preach hate. Well done, evidently Jesus really did die for nothing. You are aware his most important lesson was about not letting hate into your heart and loving everyone unconditionally, right?