April 2, 2014

California Earthquakes


Scott: Some parts of California are still feeling aftershocks following an earthquake that struck Friday night. Now, the quake was considered moderate and didn’t cause a lot of damage, but as Keith Kocinski reports, it did erupt from a dangerous and potentially catastrophic fault.

Keith: An earthquake struck Southern California last Friday, damaging homes, throwing things off store shelves and shaking up actors and their stage during this high school performance.

The quake was measured as a 5.1 on the Richter scale. It didn’t happen on the well-known San Andreas Fault where the so-called ‘big one’ is expected to hit. Rather, it was on the potentially even more dangerous Puente Hills thrust fault. It was discovered in 1999 and stretches from northern Orange County under downtown Los Angeles up to Hollywood.

Expert: When we put the earthquake right under the city it becomes more damaging.

Keith: The U.S. Geological Survey created a simulation of a major quake on the Puente Hills thrust fault. It shows it rocking some of the most densely populated areas in Los Angeles, home to more than 4 million people, and causing $250 billion in damage.

Lucy Jones: Three thousand to eighteen thousand dead, depending upon the time of day. By comparison, a San Andreas was only 1,800 dead.

Keith: Since Friday, nearly 200 aftershocks have hit the city. And two weeks ago, a 4.4 quake struck Los Angeles. But for decades, the ground beneath the city has been unusually quiet. The last magnitude 5 or greater was in 2008, and the last strong earthquake was the 6.7 that hit Northridge in 1994, killing 57 people. Now the question is when will the next big one happen and where.

Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.

Scott: Now, to learn more about the science behind earthquakes, head to


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