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Predicting “THE BIG ONE” – Is It Possible?

Predicting “THE BIG ONE” – Is It Possible?

There are a number of countries around the world that have well established organizations that are devoted to predicting, or forecasting, seismic activity.  Unfortunately, the U. S. is not leading the charge, probably because some scientists think that predicting earthquake activity is completely impossible.  There are a number of scientists and authorities, however, who are predicting that a BIG ONE will occur along one of the many California fault lines, sometime in the very near future.

There is one particular dynamic that should grab hold of everyone’s interest, especially residents living on the West Coast and along the many California fault lines: conjoined solar and lunar gravitational tides.  Most scientists would agree that gravitational tides are one of the unique and major forces in the universe.  In fact, some of the most well known features in the solar system are shaped by these gravitational tides. These gravitational powers are strong enough to push California’s many fault lines into action, especially those particular fault areas that are already under intense pressure.

At this point in time, the widely accepted scientific view is that tidal influence is a secondary force in seismic activity, however most scientists believe that it has only a minor impact on producing earthquakes powerful enough to cause injury, fatalities and massive destruction. Some scientists have recently reviewed the historical earthquake records in southern California, and they have noticed interesting evidence that shows this opinion may underestimate conjoined lunar and solar gravitational effects.

When scientists reviewed California’s seismic activity between 1933 and 1994, they found six earthquakes occurred within 70 miles of the metropolitan Los Angeles area and those quakes were strong enough to cause many fatalities.  Interestingly, each of those earthquakes were 5.7+ magnitude and each one happened either in the early morning hours or in the evening. The records showed that every fatality in a Los Angeles area earthquake during those 61 years died between the hours of 4-7:45 a.m. or 4-7:45 p.m.  It is also significant to remember that two-thirds of these quakes also occurred within 36 hours of the new or full moon phase – when the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are combined.

In considering the historical records and the timing of the earthquakes reviewed, it seems that the possibility of predicting future seismic activity may actually exist.  With further research and a greater understanding of conjoined lunar and solar gravitational effects, scientists may find the first steps needed to create a simple seismic advisory for California residents.  Looking at dawn and dusk during certain new- and full-moon phases just might hold a higher probability for seismic activity along the entire the West Coast.

This prediction possibility is not just important for those living in the Los Angeles vicinity.  Many other California residents also live along a portion of the San Andreas fault.  San Francisco’s two great earthquake disasters occurred almost exactly 12 hours apart (within the same dawn and dusk parameters).   The first devastating quake occurred at 5:18 a.m. in 1906 and the second powerful quake was felt 83 years later at 5:04 p.m.   A review of all the earthquakes along the west coast of North America shows these same hallmarks of timing can be seen from San Diego in southern California all the way to Vancouver, British Columbia, and beyond.  In fact, the mightiest earthquake in the history of North America was a magnitude-9.2 temblor; it occurred in the early evening at 5:36 p.m, causing massive devastation in Anchorage, Alaska and surrounding areas.

Even though scientists cannot yet specifically predict seismic activity, property owners should take the time to strengthen their properties now to withstand the powerful underground forces of nature. Building codes, prior to the early nineties, were much less rigorous compared to today’s standards, therefore commercial properties constructed more than twenty-five years ago should be thoroughly inspected by professionals with experience in seismic retrofitting.   Many older properties may be completely ill-equipped to handle the force of even small-to-mid level tremors.  Before the next “BIG ONE” occurs, commercial property owners should consider strengthening their commercial property with a seismic retrofit.

Seismic retrofitting is done for many different reasons, but the main reason typically is to ensure the safety of a building’s tenants, customers and employees, not to mention the security of any machinery and inventory.   To find out more about whether your commercial property in the Los Angeles area should be strengthened and reinforced to withstand the impact of the “BIG ONE”, call Saunders Commercial Earthquake Retrofit Los Angeles today!

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(949) 646-0034

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