Southern California was shook by a pair of earthquakes beginning late Tuesday night, but seismologists say the worst is still yet to come. According to a recent study, the West Coast will experience a catastrophic quake during the next 50 years.
Although Tuesday night’s 4.4-magnitude earthquake near Yorba Linda, CA and a series of aftershocks afterward was not immediately blamed for any injuries or extensive damage, there could be a natural disaster of epic proportions during the next few decades. A study released out of Oregon State University last week did not warn researchers about this week’s quake, but it did lead them to suggest that a tragedy on par with last year’s Fukushima, Japan disaster could be only a few years away.
Scientists with the school estimate that there’s a 50 percent chance that a major earthquake will strike southern Oregon near its border with California during the next half-century. The Pacific Northwest region of North America has suffered fewer than two dozen major earthquakes during the last 10,000 years, but the University’s researchers say it’s about time that a new eruption rips through the Cascadia fault.
“The southern margin of Cascadia has a much higher recurrence level for major earthquakes than the northern end and, frankly, it is overdue for a rupture,” Chris Goldfinger, the study’s lead author, says in a statement.