California Major Earthquakes: When and Where Will They Hit?

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When it comes to predicting the likelihood of earthquakes, it really depends on where you live and who you talk to. However, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has some statistics available that give you an idea of where these massive earthquakes can occur.

Take California, for instance. The USGS 2014 earthquake forecast indicates that the likelihood of a moderate earthquake – between magnitude 6.5 and 7.5 – hitting California has decreased, but the chance of a higher-magnitude quake in the region has increased.

In addition, the USGS found that more than two-thirds of the nation’s annualized earthquake losses in property and structures will be in California. In the state, 80 percent of the losses will occur in these 10 counties (percentage denotes percent of state total):

  1. Los Angeles (30.6%)
  2. Santa Clara (8.9%)
  3. Alameda (8%)
  4. Orange (7%)
  5. San Bernardino (6%)
  6. Riverside (5.6%)
  7. Contra Costa (4.6%)
  8. San Francisco (3.8%)
  9. San Mateo (3.5%)
  10. San Diego (3.3%)

If you’re in these areas, it’s always a good idea to stay prepared with an Earthquake Emergency Kit, a Gas Shut-Off Tool, a plan of action, and anything else you might need in a disaster situation.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, California Department of Conservation, Los Angeles Public Library, Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (via)

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