Southern California could be in line for a serious quake along the infamous San Andreas fault, seismologists have found. New measurements suggest that the region close to Los Angeles, the traditional earthquake location in Hollywood disaster movies, could feel the effects of a real-life tremor within the next few years.
The southern part of the San Andreas seems to be building up a considerable amount of strain, the work suggests. And because no significant earthquake has ruptured this portion of the fault for at least the past 250 years, it could be primed to cause a devastating event.
“It could be tomorrow; it could be ten years from now,” says Yuri Fialko, a geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, who led the study. “But it appears unlikely to accumulate another few hundred years of strain.”