As Interstate 10 snakes through the mountains and toward the golf courses, housing tracts and resorts of the Coachella Valley, it crosses the dusty slopes of the San Gorgonio Pass.
The pass is best known for the spinning wind turbines that line it. But for geologists, the narrow desert canyon is something of a canary in the coal mine for what they expect will be a major earthquake coming from the San Andreas fault.
Fear of earthquakes is part of life in California.
But people experience this anxiety in different ways. For some, the fear prompts them to take steps to protect themselves: strapping down heavy furniture, securing kitchen cabinets and retrofitting homes and apartments.
For others, the fear prompts denial — a willful ignorance of the dangers for years until the ground starts shaking.
I had never stood directly on top of the San Andreas fault. Not to my knowledge, anyway, but as a California native, I’ve probably stumbled over it a time or two.
So I jumped at the chance to tour the fault with geophysicist Lucy Jones, the queen of quakes and go-to authority on why the ground keeps shaking.
A new study by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and USGS has revealed that the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault zone, which extends offshore from San Diego to Los Angeles, is capable of rupturing in M=7.3+ earthquakes. Such a quake could cause significant damage to some of the most densely populated areas in California.
In the event of a large Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake, damage will be significant, and lifelines will be cut off. Approximately 8 million people live in the earthquake damage zone, and the Seattle and Portland metro areas are home to Nike, Amazon, Boeing, and Microsoft. Therefore, preparing for a large-scale earthquake along the entire West Coast is vital.
The rumbling started Monday morning deep under the Salton Sea. A rapid succession of small earthquakes — three measuring above magnitude 4.0 — began rupturing near Bombay Beach, continuing for more than 24 hours. Before the swarm started to fade, more than 200 earthquakes had been recorded.
The temblors were not felt over a very large area, but they have garnered intense interest — and concern — among seismologists. It marked only the third time since earthquake sensors were installed there in 1932 that the area had seen such a swarm, and this one had more earthquakes than the events of 2001 and 2009.
The quakes occurred in one of California’s most seismically complex areas. They hit in a seismic zone just south of where the mighty San Andreas fault ends. It is composed of a web of faults that scientists fear could one day wake up the nearby San Andreas from its long slumber.
Instor Solutions, our Northern California distributor for our ISO-Base Seismic platform was recently featured in Facility Executive’s online magazine. We’re happy to have them as our exclusive ISO-Base distributor in Northern California.
Here’s a link to read more
We all know that the “Big One” is just around the corner. But as with all earthquakes it is unknown exactly when it will hit. Below is an excellent article from yesterday’s LA Times that shows us how close a large earthquake on the San Andreas fault is to actually happening and what could happen when it does.
In the afternoon of March 11th 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by a killer tsunami struck Japan and was then compounded by a nuclear accident at a damaged power plant.
The gravity of the tragedy facing Japan is almost incomprehensible.
At WorkSafe Technologies, we want to extend our compassion to all Japanese people as their great nation struggles to overcome one of the worst natural disasters in its history.
Japan has long been known for both its preparedness and its resilience. As high as the death toll may climb from this disaster, there is no question that the earthquake and tsunami early warning systems the country has in place saved thousands of lives. We know that thanks to the determined spirit of its resilient citizens, Japan will recover – and we are committed to aiding this recovery in the way we know best.
Japan’s focus on preparedness is directly responsible for it being WorkSafe Technologies’ largest customer nation. Our ISO-Base™ Seismic Isolation Platforms for protecting computing and networking equipment are the de facto standard in data centers of businesses and government agencies throughout Japan, including Sendai, the largest city near the epicenter.
According to all reports we’ve received to date, despite intense and prolonged shaking, all equipment protected by ISO-Base™ seismic isolation platforms is intact and there has been no lost operational activity as a result of the mega-earthquake or aftershocks, except what was caused by loss of power to these facilities.
Going forward, WorkSafe Technologies’ commitment to our customers throughout Japan is simple. We are here and ready to provide any support you need to ensure every ISO-Base™ Seismic Isolation Platform will continue to successfully perform its design function during this very difficult time – and in the better days to come.
Download letter from WorkSafe Technologies in Japanese