Earthquakes: Which Fault Line Do You Fall On?

With the recent earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunami many are worried their location will be the next spot of mayhem. There are three major fault lines that fall over the continental US so this is for all you nervous people..

1. San Andreas –running along the West Coast, this fault line is what all west coasters are worried about. Tremors have been studied for the past years; during the study period tremors double after 2003 quake of 6.5 magnitude and jumped six fold after 2004 6.0 magnitude quake. It was noted if an quake hits 15% of tall buildings are at major risk and as high as 40% could not handle 8.0 quake. It is believed an earthquake is

2. New Madrid — centered in the central part of the country and could affect more than 15 million people in the eight states (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.)After a survey taken by U.S. Geological in August 2009 it was reported the potential impact could be devastating and could lead to catastrophic loss for children and first responders.

Buildings and infrastructure appears to be unprepared in terms of capacity to survive a big quake as quoted here, “Memphis has an ageing infrastructure, and many of its large buildings, including unreinforced schools and fire and police stations, would be particularly vulnerable when subjected to severe ground shaking.” Last hit 1911 with a 7.5 magnitude

3. Ramapo — 70 miles long between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As it is close to NY it could have serious problems affecting the Subways, major bridges, tunnels. Many do not know about this fault so it would be a huge surprise and cause detrimental damage if no one is prepared for.

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