Predicting where and when the next “big one” will strike the San Francisco Bay Area is a tough task for seismologist. Five major fault lines cross the Bay Area: San Andreas, Calaveras, San Gregorio, Hayward and Rodgers Creek.
A fault is defined by the U.S. Geological Survey as “a fracture or zone of fractures between two blocks of rock. Faults allow the blocks to move relative to each other. This movement may occur rapidly, in the form of an earthquake – or may occur slowly, in the form of creep.”
Without enough creeping, pressure will build up until an earthquake results.
Tuesday’s 5.1 magnitude earthquake originated from the Calaveras Fault and its epicenter was just east of San Jose. Fortunately, San Jose emerged without significant damages nor injuries. Still, the USGS cautions, “we live in earthquake country and we should all be prepared for the next big quake.”
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