I don’t recall this ever happening before. Last week there were a series of earthquakes reported in both Northern and Southern California. I didn’t bother with them because they were 5 and below on the Richter Scale and low level earthquakes in California are a weekly occurrence. Nor did I feel any of the earthquakes reported in Southern California. The retraction of the Northern California Earthquakes was reported in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday Morning.
I suppose at some point I’ll be asked about the upcoming movie San Andreas. Too many times in the past, it has been my experience that the more serious the topic—that includes most movies about politics— and the more serious Hollywood tries to be, the movie ends up sounding more like the fourth hand ravings of a crazy relative who has been kept in the attic. Since I’m not a movie critic, I’ll keep my opinions about specific movies to myself.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t take much movement on a fault to produce a tremendous earthquake. During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the amount of displacement of the earth along the fault was estimated to be a maximum of 20 feet laterally, according to the USGS. By laterally, I mean that two points that were once side by side on the fault are 20 feet apart along the crack, but the crack is no wider than it was before. No, California is not likely to collapse into the sea in a major earthquake, but there could be serious death and destruction in an earthquake 8 and above on the Richter Scale.
It might very well happen that coastal California including Baja California in Mexico might break off from continental North America. But it would be a very gradual process and all of us alive today will be long gone and forgotten by then. Our lives are but a blink of the eye in geologic time.