CA Quake Map to Aid Disaster Planning

The Los Angeles Times reports that more than 50 new surface earthquake faults have been discovered in California over the last two decades, according to a new state map produced by the California Geological Survey. The map is the first in 16 years, and offers a sober reminder of California’s quake risks, the LA Times article notes.

Its release comes just a few weeks after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck northern Baja California on April 4. The quake, which was centered south of California’s border with Mexico, swayed buildings as far away as San Diego, Loss Angeles and Arizona.

The LA Times observes that the new faults identified by the map range from small ones that don’t pose much threat for major temblors to very large ones:

Most of the faults have been known to researchers, and information on them is contained in scientific files. But state officials and quake experts hope that putting all the faults on one map will educate the state about quake risk zones and help.†

Release of the map is timely. We’ve already seen a number of major quakes in the early part of 2010, including an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Central Chile, and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti in January. On April 14, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted Qinghai Province in the northwestern region of China, causing significant damage and loss of life. Check out I.I.I. earthquake facts and stats.

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