CALIFORNIA has been struck by a powerful earthquake on a dangerous fault line experts believe could unleash a dreaded “big one” as soon as tomorrow.
California has today been rocked by a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in the Bay Area of Berkley shortly after 3am local time (11am GMT).
The “terrifying” tremor has left millions across the state fearing an imminent “Big One” earthquake measuring magnitude 7 or greater on the Richter Scale.
— Riya (@loislane28) January 4, 2018
The US state has not been struck by a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake since a colossal rupture in the San Andreas Fault laid waste to San Francisco in 1906.
Sharp tremors lasting several seconds struck Oakland, California.
There were no signs of earthquake damage in the immediate vicinity.
The United States Geological Survey said the quake was of magnitude 4.4 and its epicenter was at a depth of 13 kilometers (8 miles) east south east of Berkeley. The USGS also said that people reported feeling the quake 40 miles (64 kilometers) south in San Jose.
Experts believe there is a 70% chance a tremor on a similar scale will strike the Bay Area of San Francisco within the next 30 years.
The San Andreas Fault – a 750-mile fissure that runs the length of California – is thought to be the biggest risk.
Speaking to Daily Star Online, seismologist Peggy Hellweg, from the University of California, said the region is not prepared to deal with the fallout from such an earthquake.
The earthquake was a result of movement on the Hayward fault, which runs right through Berkeley to the east of San Francisco. The fault runs roughly parallel to the San Andreas Fault, which lies to the west of the Berkeley fault. The Hayward fault, as it runs south, eventually merges into the Calaveras fault. This suggests any movement on the Hayward fault could translate to movement on the Calaveras fault to the south.
In other words, it could cause a chain reaction that could disrupt the time space continuum,