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Palos Verdes Fault Line Could Create Quake ’45 Times’ Stronger Than ’94 Northridge

What else could possibly go wrong for Southern California?

Oh yeah, there’s this: New discoveries surrounding a fault line in the South Bay may be capable of producing an earthquake that is “45 times stronger” than the devastating ‘94 quake in Northridge, according to KTLA.

This nearly 70-mile fault zone extends from Santa Monica Bay all the way down to Dana Point, running mostly underwater beneath the Palos Verdes Peninsula, from which it gets its name. Though known to seismologists and geophysicist-types for some time now, recent findings project that the fault could produce a 7.8 magnitude quake or stronger.

The prospect of a 7.8 on the Richter scale is especially threatening and deadly to thousands are the residential populations, urban centers, and crucial infrastructure lying within this quake zone. CalTech seismologist Egill Hauksson points out that significant damage could occur to the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, as well as other buildings and businesses in L.A., and that fires could be ignited in the oil refineries that are located over the fault, potentially causing greater damage than an earthquake of the same size on the San Andreas fault, aka “THE BIG ONE!”

However, as opposed to an earthquake on the San Andreas fault, which we’ve been frightened with by people who are smarter than us since we were grade school kids, be they teachers or scientists, Hauksson advises that no one lose their heads just yet. An earthquake of such magnitude is said to occur once every 5,000-10,000 years.

“Don’t lose any sleep over it,” he said.

Truly, you already have enough to worry about these days, right?

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