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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Scary... so a scientist who has been right in the past predicts we'll have one possibly this week. :wah?!:

Here's an article from USC:

http://www.dailytrojan.com/main.cfm?include=detail&storyid=709259

Scientists say quake could hit by Sept. 5

USC scientist says earthquake prediction is unlikely, however.

By James R. Koren
Published: Thursday, September 2, 2004


An international team of scientists predicts that a moderate to major earthquake could hit southern California by Sunday, but other scientists and earthquake experts said the prediction is too vague to warrant special action.

The team, led by Russian-born Vladimir Keilis-Borok, predicted that an earthquake would hit the central portion of southern California between January and September.

The prediction states that an earthquake, of magnitude 6.4 or greater, will happen within a 12,440-square-mile area, including parts of Imperial, San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside counties, according to the United States Geological Survey\'s Web site.

The nine-month window opened on Jan. 5, and closes this Sunday, Sept. 5.

The prediction is based on the theory that a series of small earthquakes often leads up to a large earthquake, said Thomas Jordan, professor of earth sciences and director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at USC.

Using this method, Keilis-Borok and his colleagues successfully predicted two earthquakes in 2003, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck Hokkaido, Japan last September, and the magnitude 6.5 quake in San Simeon in December, according to the USGS.

If there is an earthquake in the specified region on or before Sunday, Keilis-Borok will have three correct predictions in a row.

Keilis-Borok and his team report that their predictions are right about 50 percent of the time, Jordan said.

"They probably can\'t predict earthquakes as well as they say they can," he said.

Within a nine-month period, the chance of randomly predicting an earthquake is about one in 12, or about 8 percent, Jordan said.

The Keilis-Borok team\'s chances of predicting an earthquake is somewhere between random and 50 percent, he said.

"They\'re scientists who are trying to figure out how to do this with very experimental techniques," he said.

There is evidence, however, that southern California is due for a large earthquake, and the predicted area includes several active faults - including the San Jacinto fault and the southern section of the San Andreas fault.

"The southern San Andreas is an active fault that has earthquakes about every 200 years, and it has been since about 1680 since that segment has ruptured," Jordan said.

However, the fault\'s 300-year hiatus does not suggest that it will produce and earthquake this week, this year or even this decade.

"We sometimes say that fault is 10-months pregnant. Is it going to happen in the next year? 10 years? 50 years? We don\'t know," Jordan said.

If an earthquake that meets the prediction\'s criteria does occur, the effect on the USC campus and downtown Los Angeles could range from slight to significant, Jordan said.

A magnitude 6.5 tremor in the specified region would not have much of an effect in Los Angeles, while a magnitude 7.5 quake could potentially cause damage to downtown or campus, he said.

USC has known about the prediction since its release, but the predicted area is far enough away from campus that the university did not take any special action, Bill Regensburger, director of fire safety and emergency planning, wrote in an e-mail.

If the prediction were for a quake closer to campus, Regensburger wrote that additional steps might have been taken.

The university has an emergency plan to use after any earthquake. Immediately after an earthquake, the emergency center would open, and response teams would check all campus buildings for damage and injuries, he wrote.

Regensburger wrote that housing facilities would be among the first buildings checked by emergency crews.

The emergency plan has been activated twice: during the 1992 riots and after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Buildings on campus have been affected very little by previous earthquakes, but the university is always strengthening buildings and preparing for the worst-case scenario, Regensburger wrote.

"Once everyone on campus is safe and secure, the next vital service is restoring the education and research programs, since that is our core function as a university," he said.

Whether or not the prediction proves true in the next few days, the science of earthquake prediction is still in its early stages, and more information is needed for the method to be considered seriously, said Mihailo Trifunac, professor of civil engineering.

"From a practical, societal point of view (this prediction is) not really a prediction," he said.

"As much as we\'re interested in all of these techniques, one would have to say we\'re not very confident of them. I would urge people to not consider (this prediction) a big deal," Jordan said.

"These are good scientists trying to do their jobs. I don\'t want to get people thinking there won\'t be an earthquake," he said.

The USGS recognizes Keilis-Borok\'s method as a legitimate part of the science of earthquake prediction, but the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council said that the current prediction does not warrant any special action, according to the USGS Web site.

Going into the last few days of the window, students said they weren\'t worried about the predicted quake.

"If it happens, it happens. If it doesn\'t, it doesn\'t," said John Wright, a junior majoring in policy, planning and development.

Olga Goija, a junior majoring in viola performance, said she isn\'t scared, and that it isn\'t human nature to be scared until something actually happens.

However, students in southern California should be prepared for an earthquake at any time, experts said.

"We should always be prepared here. If this predication comes and goes without being validated, it\'s just another in a long line," said Capt. John Castro of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "Living in an area like southern California, we\'re continuously at risk."

Jordan recommended that students have a plan for how to get in touch with their families if they were to lose phone service after an earthquake.

Every student should keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, emergency drinking water in foil pouches and a few first aid supplies, Regensburger wrote.

Also, families should be aware of the university\'s emergency Web site http://www.usc.edu, which is backed up outside of southern California.

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Staff writer Kara Nichols contributed to this report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Earthquake Prediction Rumbles Through Kern County
Experts Say It's A Matter Of When, Not If

POSTED: 7:25 p.m. PDT September 2, 2004
FRAZIER PARK-- --

A prediction that a major earthquake will hit the eastern Kern County desert by Monday may not come true, but experts say an even bigger quake could be on the horizon.

One of several possible epicenters is at the intersection of the San Andreas and Garlock faults in Frazier Park.

The magnitude is thought to be 8 or greater and even though forecasting an earthquake is nearly impossible, a major one is now overdue.

"We are long overdue and the longer we don't have a quake, the more stress builds up along the fault," said Dr. Gregg Wilkerson, a geologist with the Bureau of Land Management.

In 1952, a magnitude 7.5 quake hit Kern County and leveled the town of Tehachapi, killing 12 people.

It's still listed as one of the largest in U.S. history.

A magnitude 8 quake struck the area in 1857 and researchers have found that a major shift in the faults usually occurs every 120 years.

One of the aftershocks from the Tehachapi quake hit six miles from Bakesfield, destroying much of the downtown area.

Wilkerson said the next big one will likely do some major damage as well.

"There will be a lot of buildings that won't stay standing," said Wilkerson.

Frazier Mountain High School is just yards from the San Andreas Fault and was built specifically under the strictest earthquake proof guidelines.

"It's built to withstand 150% of any seismic force predicted," said Principal Dave McGrath, "and many seismologists say they want their kids to be here in an earthquake."

In the end, Wilkerson said it's not a matter of if, but when the magnitude 8 will hit.

He said all we can do is be prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No Sign Yet of Predicted Big California Earthquake
Fri Sep 3, 2004 02:15 PM ET

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The clock is running out on a highly publicized prediction that a major earthquake will rip through Southern California by Sunday.

But even if the earth does not move by the weekend, seismologists largely agree that the forecast had done more good than harm by reviving interest in the controversial science of quake prediction.

A UCLA team startled Californians and the wider scientific world in January by predicting there was 50-50 chance of a 6.4 magnitude or larger quake hitting a 12,000 square mile mostly desert area east of Los Angeles by Sept. 5.

They used an algorithm, or mathematical pattern recognition formula, developed by team member Professor Vladimir Keilis-Borok which had already successfully forecast a 6.5 temblor in central California in December 2003 and the 8.1 magnitude quake that struck the Japanese island of Hokkaido in September last year.

The public forecast of a quake in southern California shook up the world of seismology where reliable earthquake prediction was largely discredited after the 1980s when another big prediction embarrassingly fell flat.

But a panel of earthquake experts deemed the prediction valid although too untested to warrant emergency measures in a state which measures up to 60 earthquakes a day -- few of them even rattling a window.

As one seismologist said, "Even if he was right, what can you do in a six-month window? You are far more likely to be murdered in L.A. than die in an earthquake in California."

With just days to go before the deadline, seismologists agreed there was only a 2 percent chance of the quake now striking in the predicted time in an area comprising the Mojave desert, Palm Springs and San Bernardino.

"It doesn't look like the earthquake will fill this window," said John Vidale, director of the UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics where Keilis-Borok and the seismology team work.

"I'm sure he (Keilis-Borok) is not happy if his prediction is not fulfilled because he sees this as crusade against the skeptics who have been digging in their heels for decades."

But Vidale said seismologists were now coming around to the idea that earthquake prediction was a valid science

ADVANCEMENT TO SCIENCE

"Scientifically, a proper test cannot be a mistake and this one was a proper test. As long as it is a proper scientific hypothesis and it is disprovable, it is an advancement to the science," said Lucy Jones, scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey for Southern California.

Seismologists noted however that one of their biggest challenges was predicting which of the 35,000 earthquakes that occur every year in California would cause vast damage.

"We don't know how they start, or how they stop, and how they stop determines how big they are. That is focus of my research," said Dr. Egill Hauksson, a seismologist at Caltech in Pasadena.

"It is impossible to successfully predict earthquakes when we don't understand the physics of earthquakes," he said.

Jones, who also chairs the California Seismic Safety Commission, said possible emergency precautions such as mass evacuations, lowering reservoir waters, canceling vacations for emergency workers and warning drivers to stay off freeways were inappropriate in this case because of the vast area and the large time-window.

"Even if Keilis-Borok was perfectly correct, there is not much you can do with this information," Jones said.

Vidale said that even if there were a quake on Sept. 10 in the predicted area, or a big quake in Los Angeles tomorrow "technically that would be a miss."

"We would all be happier if there was some harmless earthquake that filled this prediction, but the earth tells us how it behaves. We don't tell it."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
***rumble...

I haven't felt a quake in such a long time... that's a good thing though. I'd hate to be at school and there's a quake on the third floor of an old building that rises to 6 floors... you know those puny desks aren't going to save me one bit.

:meow:
 

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.. and there's also a scientific possibility that I could win the lotto this week. However, that probably won't happen either. :crying:
 

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OMG.. dont freak us out... us east coasters have never felt an earthquake before! ahh! lol Figures we move here right us we are about to get "the big one". I guess it's the trade off: 3 feet of snow and -20 degree weather or earthquakes.... hmm the choices! lol
 

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GERRY said:
.. and there's also a scientific possibility that I could win the lotto this week. However, that probably won't happen either. :crying:
I like your logic. :)
 

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Lambkins, don't worry too much about it. I've been through the last 40 years worth of Ca. earthquakes - all this time being told the BIG ONE is coming... maybe it will, but in the meantime how many thousands have lost their homes or even lives due to the weather in the East?.. we've got it pretty good here.
p.s. I don't want to overlook the fact that many have been affected by Ca. earthquakes - just pointing out that you now live on the safer side of the country (at least disaster-wise).
 

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I agree..... I would rather have an earthquake then a damn Tornado or Hurricane any day............
 

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Yeah, I'm not used to that :lol:
 

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Well...you might want to park your car in the street just in case....:D
I haven't felt an earthquake since I lived in Tokyo, they were weekly in the news, but I only felt a few big enough to scare me to go under the doorjamb.
 

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:rolleyes: O.k. I feel better.
 

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wow. we were just talkin about this yesterday at work.



dammit! i live in kern county. ridgecrest, ca 'earthquake capital of the world'.
 

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Rob02RT04SRT said:
The Big One is I Big Rob, the One and Only
Dude, I think you've been admiring your new exhaust from behind (with the car running) too much.. get some fresh air! :frogtongu
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LOL... wow look what I found over my forum... so sexual...

 
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