Three years ago, seismologists imagined the effect of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in a scenario that had the full force of the temblor reaching the L.A. Basin in less than two minutes. The shaking would extend as far north as Ventura.
The released energy would be approximately 30 times less than the Japanese earthquake. Still, landslides, fires, collapsed buildings and roadways, severed communication lines, cracked runways, derailed trains, broken aqueducts and dams were projected, along with nearly 2,000 deaths, 50,000 injuries and $200 billion in damage.
The model was based on the last rupture of the San Andreas in this region, dated more than 300 years ago by recent geological studies. Because this stretch of the fault — from Bombay Beach to the Cajon Pass — has not moved since then, it is considered especially vulnerable to a major earthquake.
Read the story: Looking inside the San Andreas fault
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