Earthquake experts: Coachella Valley overdue for up to 8.4 quake


Hundreds of earthquake experts are in Palm Springs for their annual Southern California Earthquake Center Meeting. In addition to (hopefully) going out together to karaoke “You Shook Me All Night Long,” they are spending time discussing big earthquakes and when they should hit the southland. According to some, the answer is soon and right here in the Coachella Valley.


Experts say the San Andreas fault that goes through the Coachella Valley is capable of producing up to a magnitude 8.4 earthquake and it’s long overdue.

“It’s been over 300 years since the last earthquake and they average about 150 years apart so there’s a lot of energy stored for a big earthquake,” says Dr. Lucy Jones, founder of the Center for Science and Society.

(Jason Ballmann, the communications director for SCEC), says the Northridge quake in 1994 was a magnitude 6.7 or the equivalent of one atomic bomb, and an 8.4 earthquake would dwarf that, “A magnitude 8.3 or 8.4 earthquake along the San Andreas fault would be almost 1000 times more energy released than the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake that’s pretty much incomprehensible.”

How wonderful.

Guess this is probably just a good reminder to stock up on supplies, make sure your expensive TV is secured with Quake Hold, and you make friends with The Rock in case you need him to rescue you after the shaker.