Scientists Say Big Earthquake Hitting Bay Area Is Inevitable

Large magnitude temblor is overdue on the densely populated Hayward Fault, scientists say

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Scientists say a massive earthquake could strike the Bay Area at any moment, according to a USA Today report.

The question: Are we ready?

A 3.9 magnitude earthquake shook the North Bay early Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake struck at about 3:40 a.m. about 12 miles northeast of Healdsburg, in the Geysers area of Sonoma County, the USGS said.

But the so-called Big One could happen at any moment. Seismologists are most concerned about the Hayward Fault, which cuts through the heavily populated Alameda County.

The Hayward Fault produces big quakes on average every 150 years, according to the USGS. The last large temblor on the fault was a 6.8 magnitude in 1868.

Scientists estimate a 7.0 magnitude quake today could kill hundreds of people and cause billions of dollars in damage.

There are growing calls to simulate what a major earthquake would be like in California without actually having one. So, what does that mean? NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, for some insight.

How to prepare for a large earthquake

  • Be prepared for no electrical or water service for days or weeks.
  • Create an earthquake kit with food, water and gear for 72 hours.
  • Have a combination weather radio, flashlight and hand crank charger for cellphones at the ready.
  • Have a cash reserve.
  • Know where the shutoff valve and tool are for your natural gas line.
  • Secure bookshelves to walls.

More tips can be found here: How to Prepare and What to Pack in an Emergency Kit

Are you prepared for the next big one?
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