San Andreas 'Quake Swarm' Has Cali Residents Fearing The 'Big One' Is Imminent

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday morning a series of 10 earthquakes struck Monterey County, California along the San Andreas fault line and has Cali residents increasingly concerned that the "Big One" could be next.  The quakes, the biggest of which measured 4.6 on the Richter scale, hit near Salinas, California but were felt 90 miles away in San Francisco.  Per SF Gate:

A 4.6-magnitude earthquake rattled Monterey County on Monday and was felt more than 90 miles away in San Francisco, officials said.


The quake hit at 11:31 a.m. about 13 miles northeast of Gonzales, near Salinas, and was followed by nine smaller aftershocks, with the largest measuring magnitude 2.8, said Annemarie Baltay, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.


There were no reports of injuries or damage.


Baltay said the quake occurred on the San Andreas Fault, close to an area where the Calaveras Fault branches off. The quake happened at a depth of about 4 miles.

While a seismologist for the US Geological Survey, Annemarie Baltay, dismissed the recent quakes as part of 'normal seismic activity', the Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center offered a slightly different opinion to the LA Times last year:

“Any time there is significant seismic activity in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault, we seismologists get nervous,” said Thomas H. Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, “because we recognize that the probability of having a large earthquake goes up.”


As seismic activity drops, the probability of having a large earthquake also decreases.


Experts said it’s important to understand that the chance of the swarm triggering a big one, while small, was real.


“When there’s significant seismicity in this area of the fault, we kind of wonder if it is somehow going to go active,” said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson. “So maybe one of those small earthquakes that’s happening in the neighborhood of the fault is going to trigger it, and set off the big event.”

Of course, Thomas Jordan is the same California Seismologist who raised some eyebrows last year when he proclaimed that the San Andreas fault is well overdue for a major quake. 

“The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight. And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go,” Jordan said in the opening keynote talk.


Other sections of the San Andreas fault also are far overdue for a big quake. Further southeast of the Cajon Pass, such as in San Bernardino County, the fault has not moved substantially since an earthquake in 1812, and further southeast toward the Salton Sea, it has been relatively quiet since about 1680 to 1690.


Here’s the problem: Scientists have observed that based on the movement of tectonic plates, with the Pacific plate moving northwest of the North American plate, earthquakes should be relieving about 16 feet of accumulated plate movement every 100 years. Yet the San Andreas has not relieved stress that has been building up for more than a century.

Jordan went on to say that when the tension that has been building along the San Andreas fault is finally relieved, it could potentially produce a magnitude 8 earthquake. Here's what a Magnitude 8 quake would look like...

Back in 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey concluded that just a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas fault would cause more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries and 200 billion dollars in lets hope that Jordan is wrong.

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johngaltfla's picture

Quit getting our hopes up.

overbet's picture

clean it up mother nature

Ms. Erable's picture

Epicenter in San Fransisco Bay is all we ask. LA can have then next one.

Billy the Poet's picture

This could play havoc with the Democrats vaunted popular vote count.

SilverDOG's picture

One word: PUTIN.

He donated to San Andreas.

Automatic Choke's picture

Here is the best place to watch and wait....


(edit:   this one is also good if you are watching the Long Valley Caldera:



ACP's picture

One big earthquake away from a red state...

Automatic Choke's picture

Wow -- I hadn't checked the Long Valley map in quite awhile.

It has been very active lately, very shallow, and moved a ways north (center of activity used to be deep under the head of McGee Creek, but now there is a big cluster of magma moving under Convict Lake.   

Know the back roads out of the area if you ski at Mammoth this winter.....


El Oregonian's picture

I was at the epicenter of the 1989 7.1 (7.3 actually) known as the World Series Earthquake in San Francisco. The actual earthquake was south of S.F. in the city of Aptos. It was brutal. I worked in Davenport Ca. on the coast, 90 miles south of S.F., I was a heavy equiptment operator working in a limestone quarry that was built in 1906. We left the quarry face 30 minutes early so we could catch the game. Well, all the steps of the quarry collapsed, we would of probably all died if we were still on the benches when it struck.

Much devastation throughout the area. Eathquakes are incredible and you feel pretty helpless if you happen to go through one. I feel sorry for all those who have suffered through experiencing at least one, and for those who will experience one in the future.

Hang in there, and hang on. The shaking will eventually stop. I hope.


Kassandra's picture

ya got those Loma Prieta Blues...

Automatic Choke's picture

My dad was driving on 280 in San Jose when the world series quake struck.  (He was an old time californian, having been near centers of '30s long beach quake and '71 sylmar quake).  He thought he ran over a bunch of nails and blew out multiple tires, since the car was weaving like crazy all the sudden.  He pulled over to the shoulder and got out, walked around the car.  He was surprised to see 4 fully intact tires.   Then he looked up, and all up and down the freeway, folks were pulled over and walking around their cars looking at their tires.   aHa, he thought....quake!


Bigly's picture

Northridge quake here.

Was in West Hollywood and it was still strong enough to break gas lines and throw houses off foundations on my street. Plus do not forget the I-10 overpass, Fairfax Ave. that completely collapsed.  Damage can be widespread and also depends on the soil you are on.


Automatic Choke's picture

Quakes are very unsettling to be in (at least a big one).   (We were close to center of Sylmar in '71).  However, in this country, very few people die -- you have to be pretty unlucky to get nailed.  Not so in 3rd world, but we do have better housing standards here.   All the doom and gloom is pretty unfounded for an "ordinary" earthquake, in spite of the unhappy fact that there will indeed be a lot of deaths in a really big one.   A huge one in SF or LA will kill a bunch and cause a lot of damage, but most people will survive with stories to tell.

If you want your disaster scenarios, look to the less likely cataclysms:    Rainier going off big time and overrunning Seattle with mudflows;   Cascadia fault big one with big tsunamis on pacific coasts both oregon and japan;  Hayward fault going big and taking out all the berms in the sacramento delta region (this will infill with salt water and stop the water spigot to LA);  Long Valley getting restless during ski season.

Bigly's picture

Compared to third world construction, agreed.

But think of those 50's concrete highrise condo buildings. Sunset blvd, Wilshire blvd, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Burbank.

And I do not care if the building is on rollers...I would not want to be 45 stories up in downtown LA.  Pancakes, all.

Stay away from overpasses. If you live work in a single story wood frame house, you are ok unless your gas line blows.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0's picture

Exactly. One- and two-story wood frame construction does fine. Most people have everything strapped down, these days. The big problem will be, as you pointed out, gas lines (people should know how to turn off their line and their is no charge to to run int back on if the turn off is due to an earthquake).

Overpasses and bridges will pancake like they did during the World Series quake. Scary stuff. Keep boots, socks, a coat, and a portable ather filter in your car if you commute. Walking home 60 miles after a major earthquake could take you days.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0's picture

I remember the big LA quake in 1970. Walls of my grandmother's house cracked.

gdogus erectus's picture

I was there with you.  Worked at National Semiconductor in San Jose (back when we still did manufacturing in the valley).  It was near the end of the work day.  I was on the test floor when these 3000 lb testers all started sliding around the floor in a loose formation.  Your mind can't get around the fact that the building is moving while the testers are trying their hardest to stay still....

Whatta's picture

San Francisco wiped out by The Big One.

Trump tweets: "Ha Ha, see you shouldn't have taken a knee Kaepernick"

Karma for the Knee-gers

Stuck on Zero's picture

Everyone in California is protected ... it's a no-fault insurance state.

booboo's picture

Jerry Brown is close to having a nervous breakdown as it is. Way too much coke in the early days plus he sounds like a tard and his shits all fucked up scro.

SubjectivObject's picture

i'll suggest this resource:

[as of the time stamp and for the first time in my [long] experience, the site is currently down]

SubjectivObject's picture

PS; there you can see swarms on an every week basis

somebody should substantiate the historical significance of swarms

Savvy's picture

I like Seismic Monitor

It shows how few quakes there's been in the area. Some huge tension building along that caost right from Alaska to Mexico.

Ms No's picture

It has been absolutely verified that the USGS is hiding quakes at Yellowstone.  Cal Tech appears to do a good job with Long Valley/Mammoth.  Look at what is going on around Yellowstone right now.  There are quakes going off over a hundred miles away in three directions.  They just had some where that crack opened up in Wyoming a few years back too (Montana like they have never seen, Soda Springs like they have never seen).  The gas charts look damn ugly too.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

San Andreas 'Quake Swarm' Has Cali Residents Fearing The 'Big One' Is Imminent

MY response: I just get the feeling that something big is coming based on fact that America continues to promote injustice across the land. Honorable people are getting targeted and DEMONIZED everywhere.

It is almost as if the entire political leadership in Washington DC is following script outlined in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals book that was dedicated to Lucifer.

The Rules for Radicals book is the Bible for HRC and OBAMA.

Raffie's picture

I been throught the Watts, Witter, Big Bear/Landers, Northridge and Nisqually quakes.

I can not immagine a 9.0+ how long that will roll.


My cousin moved from the east coast to the Bay area.

2mo later the earthquake hit during the baseball game, month after that she moved back to the east coast. LOL


Whalley World's picture

So sorry, Ma Nature has her hands full with the Fukushima mess

IH8OBAMA's picture

San Andreas, Cascadia, Yellowstone, New Madriad.  Anyone want to guess which one goes first?



chubbyjjfong's picture

The mega volcano under Antartica.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0's picture

You forgot the Juan de Fuca plate. If that and Mt. Ranier / Mt. Hood go off, the left coast will disappear in walls of mud and ash. Good.

Wakemaker's picture

Everything east of the San Andreus is going to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.

buzzsaw99's picture

+1 for chubby.  antarctica.

any_mouse's picture

The Petrodollar and WW3.

peddling-fiction's picture

"The Petrodollar and WW3."

Yeah they will be the entree before the main course.

Oh the humanity!

Two-bits's picture

Double Doom porn bonus:

What if that's where Rocket man sends a cargo container with a bun in the oven? Would a detonation be enough to set off the fault? When does that article get published?

It's a head fake you see. Look at my rockets, look at my Rockets. And then one of those sneaky container ships that's famous for barreling down Naval vessels come sliding in Port.

Two-bits's picture

OT: Heard about the $15 million in taxpayer dollars paid to settle congressional sexual harassment , or the two congressmen serving who harassed people?

IH8OBAMA's picture

Not just a cargo container, what about his subs?  NK has demonstrated that they can launch a missile from their subs.  Can they get close enough to the west coast to launch a nuke our way?  Or are we shaddowing his subs and are we prepared to sink them if they appear to be readying a launch?

Concerned minds want to know.


RafterManFMJ's picture

It’s the BIG ONE! Coming to join you, Elizabeth!

HRClinton's picture

That's right. Give Soddom and Gomorrah what they deserve.

And I don't mean tax breaks for education. 

That's right, that's a swipe at Ron Paul, who clearly belongs in an old folks home.

ChumbaWumba's picture

And this is why they created, exactly why.

Will be an awesome and very profitable ICO

ghengiskhan's picture

I imagine the earth swallowing it whole followed by a loud belch of relief.   We can dream ....

Liberal's picture

We need Al Gore now more than ever!  He'll put an end to this racist madness!

peddling-fiction's picture

Good thing modern Sodom and Gomorrah lies ON the fault line.

No need to waste a precious meteor on The City.

serotonindumptruck's picture

A meteor strike similar to the Tunguska Event might kick start the San Andreas fault.

Just wishful thinking at this point.

peddling-fiction's picture

The meteors will find their way towards the proud Obelisks around the world.

Ms No's picture

I don't know if we have a shower going on or what but there has been a rediculous amount of meteor fireballs in AZ.  I have seen three little fireballs this week and I am not shitting you.  Only one was reported and apparently it was seen in Ca too.  You know how rare it is for a meteor to explode, shake a whole state and be found?  Happened here not long ago too.  We have had two meteor explosions that were major and countless smaller meteors.  Fine with me.  I hope we get a giant one.