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March 1st, 2010
12:46 PM ET

Where will the next five big earthquakes be?

Bryan Walsh
TIME

Earthquakes have always been part of Los Angeles' past — and its future. In 1994 a 6.7-magnitude quake hit the Northridge area of the city, badly damaging freeways, killing more than 70 people and causing $20 billion in damages. But those numbers could be dwarfed by a major quake in the future.

The geologic record indicates that huge quakes occur roughly every 150 years in the region — Los Angeles lies along the southern end of the San Andreas Fault — and the last big quake, which registered a magnitude 7.9, happened in 1857.

Los Angeles has done a lot to beef up its building codes and emergency response in the 15 years since the Northridge quake and may be better prepared than any other major U.S. city, but its sheer size ensures that the next Big One will be bloody.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Isabel, Brazil •

    This is not a question of bad omen, but that should be answered in advance so that people could be protected.

    March 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  2. John Paul

    It will be good if you can get some comments from Prof. Roger Bilham whose spoke briefly in the morning on CNN. I liked his interview but it was so brief. AC can ask some smart questions and get some good answers.

    March 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  3. Denise Barlow

    It's scary to think where the next big earthquake might hit. It could very well be California. Anywhere on the west coast. Or maybe Japan or Australia. If the last two earthquakes are any indications of what to expect we, as a world, had better settle in for alot of devastation.

    March 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  4. robert

    Why is there not more coverage on the earthquake in Chile? The entire world wanted to know about Haiti. Is it because it was more distressing?

    March 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  5. Tim Gibson

    Are we saying here that the labor pains of our earth are getting stronger, the water has broken and it could be any time now, at least for those in the areas of expectation. What about the out of norm labor.

    March 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm |