The San Andreas fault has seemingly come alive in recent days, putting the highly populated Bay Area in California on alert. “The Big One” is coming, and it could be right around the corner.
The earthquake that rattled the Bay Area on Thursday was just one more reminder of the power and danger of the Hayward Fault, which runs below the populous East Bay area. But the San Andreas fault could awaken at any time, causing the Hayward fault to also shift, which would rock the area. The Hayward fault could easily produce a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake and it is directly underneath heavily populated areas.
“So who knows, California!” says Joe Joseph of the Daily Sheeple. “Better buy a boat, build an ark, who know what the heck you’re gonna need. And anybody out there that’s feeling ambitious in the real estate market, why don’t you go and buy up some desert land…who knows! Maybe you’ll have beachfront property soon!”
On its website, the USGS calls the Hayward fault the region’s “tectonic time bomb,” which could “cause hundreds of deaths, leave thousands homeless and devastate the region’s economy.” In 2016, David Schwartz, a USGS geologist, said in an interview that above the Hayward fault are “2 million people who directly live on top of it. It sits geographically in the center of the Bay Area. There’s a tremendous amount of infrastructure built upon it — water systems, gas, electrical, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) crosses it — so a large event on that fault is like hitting the bull’s eye on a target.”
Of course, the San Andreas fault is well overdue for a massive earthquake as well. The last major earthquake on the San Andreas fault happened in 1857 and scientists say they’re due every 100-150 years.
“One thing’s for certain,” says Joseph. “The San Andreas fault is a fault that’s certainly nothing to ignore. And if you live in California, you know how to deal with earthquakes.” Hopefully. Hopefully, those in California are taking these two faults seriously.