72 Percent Chance of Major Quake in Region within 25 Years

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In the wake of a series of large earthquakes in Southern California, seismic and safety experts are repeating their warning that the Bay Area should expect a major quake sometime in the next quarter century.

Five major fault lines criss cross the Bay Area, including the Rodgers Creek fault that runs through Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, and the San Andreas that sits just offshore.

In a 2016 report, geologists predicted that there is a 72 percent chance of one or more earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or greater by the year 2043 somewhere in the Bay Area.

The greatest threat is along the Hayward fault, which runs under the East Bay and geologists believe is connected to our own Rodgers Creek fault.  That fault system is rated as having a 33 percent chance of producing a major quake in the next 25 years.

The last major quakes that occurred in Sonoma County were in October of 1969, when Santa Rosa experienced two quakes of 5.6 and 5.7 magnitude which caused moderate damage.   The USGS says the most likely scenerio is another, larger quake in the range of 7.0.

Safety experts say now is the time to update your earthquake kit, and check to make sure that you have stored supplies for at least three days.

The USGS also in recent years produced an animated video, estimating shaking in Sonoma County following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake under San Pablo Bay.  The movements are exaggerated, but are designed to show how earth movement might move north along the Rodgers Creek fault.


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