There’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on in Southern California – 10 times more than seismologists had thought. But most of those earthquakes are so tiny that no one feels them.
Using a more accurate way of finding teeny tiny earthquakes, scientists counted 1.8 million of the temblors in Southern California from 2008 to 2017, according to a report in Thursday’s journal Science . The current catalog of quakes for the area has just under 180,000 for that decade.
California is in an earthquake drought.
It has been almost five years since the state experienced its last earthquake of magnitude 6 or stronger — in Napa. Southern California felt its last big quake on Easter Sunday 2010, and that shaker was actually centered across the border, causing the most damage in Mexicali.
Metropolitan Los Angeles is being squeezed from south to north at 8-9 mm/yr (⅓ inch per year), about one-fourth the rate your fingernails grow. This squeeze was the ultimate driving force behind the 1971 San Fernando, 1987 Whittier Narrows and 1994 Northridge earthquakes, three days Angelenos need no reminder of. These tremors were “thrust” earthquakes, in which the top side of the fault is thrust up and over the bottom side – the optimal way to accommodate a tectonic squeeze. The tolls of these earthquakes prompt a natural question.
Damage at the San Fernando Veterans Administration hospital in Sylmar killed 49 people. The VA hospital wasn’t the only hospital damaged. New, supposedly earthquake-resistant buildings at Olive View hospital, also in Sylmar, were destroyed.
The quake also damaged freeways and left older buildings in surrounding cities like Burbank, Glendale and Beverly Hills destroyed beyond repair.
Twenty-five years ago, just before dawn on Jan. 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake struck. Those of us who lived it, remember distinctly the chaos of that morning. The quake caused $25 billion in damages and killed dozens.
Northridge was an event that disrupted the lives of people in the Greater San Fernando Valley extensively. The damage was widespread and affected freeways, buildings, and other infrastructure.
Every time an earthquake such as Northridge strikes, we are forced to realize just how unprepared we are.
We know that another quake will strike sometime in the next 30 years. The “Big One” or San Andreas earthquake will unsettle the lives of everyone in Southern California and it might take us years or even decades to fully recover. Think about how different your lives are today from then. Most of us didn’t have cell phones, and the internet was still in its infancy. How dependent are you on the internet? Is your company equipped and ready to operate without it?
That said, to survive a major earthquake, it’s important that you prepare your life and your company to weather the quake. Stock up on water, food, medicine and make sure you have somewhere to go, in-case you cannot stay in your home. It is imperative for all citizens of Los Angeles work out some sort of emergency plan. Then your need to prepare your facility when the “Big One” strikes.
While there have been major advancements in earthquake early warning systems, they only give you a few seconds to get ready for the coming quake. Buildings and homes will still be destroyed, and the early warning systems provide enough time for people to get to safety. These systems are still not common in the U.S. and Data center managers have to protect themselves and their facilities in case one strikes.
Seismic-rated cabinets and bracing can be very expensive. This has led many companies to move their data centers to areas that are less likely to have an earthquake. However, current latency issues have made the need for edge data centers much more prominent. So, when it is necessary to have a facility located in an earthquake zone, what can data center managers do to mitigate the damage caused by a seismic event?
When an earthquake strikes, server rack equipment has increased vulnerability to physical damage and data corruption. Most racks are designed to keep equipment safe while stationary, but what if the ground isn’t stationary?
A common solution to this problem has been to bolt this equipment to the floor. While this will provide the bare minimum level of protection for life safety of your employees, it is not ideal. Bolting the equipment transfers the shaking from the ground through the cabinet causing your mission critical equipment contained in your rack to sustain major damage. This rapid movement and vibration can permanently damage sensitive electronics and affect the data they contain.
Your employees may survive the shaking, but they won’t be happy when your facility isn’t fully operational for days, weeks, or even months after a major quake. If Southern California were to be hit by the Big One, southland data centers would suffer from serious supply chain issues. Will your company survive having a nonoperational data center?
ISO-Base™ platforms from WorkSafe Technologies offer a much more reliable solution than bolting. Using patented ball and cone technology, ISO-Base™ platforms are built to isolate your racks from the violent shaking caused by an earthquake. The company has been building these platforms for over 20 years and has passed many shake-table tests including Belcore Nebs GRC 63, and has had successful real-world tests in earthquakes such as Tohoku, Japan 2011 and in Christchurch, New Zealand 2016.
To learn more about ISO-Base™ please click here or visit www.worksafetech.com
The 17 June 2018 M=6.1 earthquake that struck 9 miles northeast of Osaka continues to produce aftershocks and raise concerns about whether it could trigger larger earthquakes on either of two major active faults. Ruptures on either fault could strongly shake Osaka, a vibrant city of 2.7 million inhabitants.
Two major faults in play
We made preliminary calculations of the stress imparted by the M=6.1 quake to surrounding faults, with each fault divided into patches so the variation of stress could be resolved. This reveals that parts of the right-lateral Takatsuki Fault (also known as the Arima-Takatsuki Tectonic Line), and the Uemachi thrust fault, were brought significantly closer to failure. The Takatsuki fault was also strongly loaded by the 1995 M=6.9 Kobe earthquake to the southwest. The Uemachi fault cuts right through Osaka, and so is the most dangerous to the City.
At 4:18 p.m. today, a M=7.0 earthquake will tear across the East Bay. The quake’s epicenter will be just east of downtown Oakland along the Hayward Fault. Shaking will be felt across the entire Bay Area, and in many areas, it will be strong enough to destroy buildings, and render many vital lifelines useless. Up to 400,000 people will be unable to use their homes, 22,000 people will be trapped in elevators, more than 400 gas and electric fires will start, and East Bay residents could lose tap water for up to 6 months. In total, losses will likely exceed $100 billion, and aftershocks will shake the region for years.
Fortunately, this earthquake is not real, but rather a USGS scenario, dubbed HayWired, that will be presented to the public today, coinciding with the release of the scenario’s second volume, on the impacts of a large magnitude earthquake on the Bay Area.
Nobody knows when “The Big One” is going to hit California, but here’s how experts think it will play out when it does.
California is the land of beaches, mountains, and Hollywood. It’s also, inconveniently, a dangerous minefield riddled with nasty fault lines that rupture without much warning, generating massive earthquakes that can level buildings, pulverize roads, and kill lots of people in the span of seconds.
The San Andreas is the most notorious of these faults. It runs roughly 800 miles long and produces quakes so catastrophic that there’s a 2015 action movie about it starring The Rock.
At 5:04pm on October 17th, 1989 the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay area a few minutes before the Giants were to face the Athletics in game 3 of the World Series. The world has changed a lot since then. From the proliferation of mobile phones, to the growth of email to the launch of Facebook, we’ve become a much more connected society. The virtual explosion of computing power over the past half-decade has been remarkable. New earthquake warning systems are on the horizon for the US. Several companies have even emerged who specialize in mapping earthquake data in real time so that search and rescue teams can improve their disaster response efforts.
There hasn’t been a major earthquake in Northern California in over thirty years. But, ask yourself when was the last major earthquake on the Hayward fault? The answer is about 150 years ago. The 80-mile-long Hayward fault winds through just east of San Jose and then travels underneath the cities of Oakland, Fremont, Hayward and Berkeley. The USGS says a 33% chance exists for the Hayward ruptures in a M=6.7+ earthquake by 2043. All Bay Area residents should be concerned about this prediction.
Seismologists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently developed a simulation for an earthquake on the Hayward using three-dimensional technology on one of their supercomputers. This simulation turned into the most advanced ever run.
The LLNL scientists rely on ISO-Base™ platforms from WorkSafe Technologies™ to protect these same supercomputers which ran the simulation because they are located in Livermore which is about 20 miles away from the Hayward fault.
Here is a link to read more about this advanced simulation.
The entire Bay Area was awakened
Last night, at 2:39 a.m. local time, a M=4.4 earthquake struck along the Hayward Fault underneath the city of Berkeley. The quake was felt throughout the entire Bay Area, and by noon today, over 35,000 people had filled out felt reports on the USGS website. Based on the distribution of shaking, nearly 10 million people would have been exposed to some level of shaking. Close to the epicenter shaking was moderate, and no damage is expected. Based on its magnitude, the quake was felt across a much greater area than expected.