It’s only a matter of time before nature blindsides us with a catastrophic earthquake. Geologists predict that the next big one could happen within our lifetime and we are ill-prepared for it.
According to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3), there is a 76 percent chance of an earthquake greater than a magnitude of 7.0 striking Northern California within the next the 30 years.
We are situated along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), a major plate boundary that stretches from Vancouver Island in Canada down to the Lost Coast in Humboldt County. It is capable of triggering “megathrusts” that can exceed 9.0 on the seismograph. Such an earthquake can set off tsunamis capable of wiping out our coastal communities. Buildings will collapse, our utilities will be cut and all hell will break loose. We need to know how to manage ourselves if and when the big one hits.
It’s easy to forget that we live in Earthquake Country. Also, some of us are emotionally distanced from natural disasters that occur outside of our bubble, because they don’t directly affect us. Unless it hits home, we pay little mind to disasters that happen in other parts of the world. Let’s not get too comfortable, though.
“Disaster, if we let it, can teach us that we who have not yet suffered are not untouchable; we are not special; we are lucky,” wrote Melissa Batchelor Warnke of the Los Angeles Times. “And luck runs out.”
Living on Shaky Ground is a free magazine prepared by Humboldt Earthquake Education Center at HSU in cooperation with several relevant organizations. They offer valuable advice to prepare, protect and recover from earthquakes and tsunamis. Download and read the PDF magazine on their website today.
Finally, we would like to remind you that the annual ShakeOut is happening on campus this Thursday, October 19 at 10:19 a.m.
The Great California ShakeOut is an opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. Remember to Drop, Cover and Hold On.