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Prepare for Inevitable Warn Scientists


Last updated 11/21/2016 at 2:46pm

Scientists, disaster response and liability experts were brought together by New America Media (NAM) and the nonprofit California Earthquake Authority (CEA) at the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center Thursday, Nov. 17. Fearing that a major earthquake is due to hit somewhere in California, experts are worried about stretching response agencies past their limits and leaving most of the natural catastrophe’s survivors in financial disarray.

“It’s hard for us to tell you that this event is immediately impending but it will come and it will have a big impact on us,” said Dr. Thomas Heaton, the director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). “From my studies, we’re not close to ready.”

He noted that a portion of the San Andreas fault — stretching from the Northern tip of the San Bernardino Mountains Southeast to the Salton Sea in the Coachella Valley — has not broken since 1650. Some researchers worry that recent seismic activity recorded at Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea’s east coast may foreshadow a more destructive geological event, according to Heaton.

Although seismic detection research has come a long way over the past few decades, scientists are only able to provide a few seconds of forward notice in the event of an earthquake, according to Caltech’s staff seismologist, Dr. Jennifer Andrews.

Between January 25 and February 27 of next year, homeowners in California will be able to register in a CEA incentive program that could cover most of that cost. The “Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program” will provide as much as $3,000 to a limited number of homeowners, selected by lottery, for improvements that may save their houses in the event of a severe tremblor.

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