US Is Overdue For A Catastrophic Earthquake! These Are The Areas Most At Risk
The likelihood that the U.S. will see a catastrophic earthquake within the next 30 years is very high — and it’s not just the West Coast that’s at risk, experts say.
Seismologists have long warned that the U.S. is “overdue” for an earthquake, because a catastrophic one has not occurred in the U.S. since about 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake killed at least 63 people in California, said Robert Yeats, a geology professor at Oregon State University. The most destructive earthquake the U.S. has ever seen was the 7.9-magnitude “Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906,” which killed an estimated 3,000 people, according to the agency. As more years have passed without earthquakes, pressure has built up along certain fault lines as tectonic plates try to shift, including in the Pacific Northwest and California, Yeats said.
Earthquakes, which occur when two Earth surfaces move against each other, are typically difficult to predict and impossible to prevent. But the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maps out high-risk zones based on seismic and geologic data that take into account when and where earthquakes occurred in the past, among other measures that help them predict future events, according to Morgan Moschetti, a USGS research geophysicist. See which areas have the highest potential for an earthquake below.