It has been more than 10 days since southern California was hit by the two largest earthquakes that the state has experienced in decades, and yet the shaking refuses to stop.
In fact, now northern California is joining the party. On Tuesday, San Francisco residents were greatly alarmed when a magnitude 4.3 earthquake rattled buildings all over the region. Thankfully not a lot of damage was done, but it has been a very long time since California has been hit by so many sizable earthquakes over such an extended period of time. According to the USGS, there have been 20 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in the state of California within the last 24 hours. Of course most of the “experts” are assuring us that all of this seismic activity will soon settle down, but what if they are wrong?
The magnitude 4.3 earthquake that just hit the San Francisco Bay area definitely surprised a lot of the “experts”. According to one local resident, it felt “as if something had slammed against the side of our house”…
A magnitude 4.3 earthquake rattled the San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday afternoon, and residents around the region widely reported feeling light shaking.
The quake struck at 1:11 p.m. with a depth of 7.46 miles and an epicenter in the East Bay, about 7.5 miles east of Blackhawk and 17 miles southeast of Concord, according to the United States Geological Survey.
“I felt it,” says Aimee Grove who lives in the East Bay. “But it just felt like a single jolt, as if something had slammed against the side of our house.”
And that quake was followed just four minutes later by an even larger earthquake in southern California…
Four minutes later, a magnitude 4.5 quake hit near Ridgecrest, which, earlier this month, was rattled by a pair of massive temblors, including the most powerful shaker ( a magnitude 7.1) to strike California in 20 years.
And, then, at 1:24 p.m., the Bay Area felt another rumble, this time a magnitude 3.2, again centered near Blackhawk, an unincorporated community east of Oakland. It was originally reported as a magnitude 3.5.
Hopefully that magnitude 4.5 quake in Ridgecrest was just an aftershock of the very large earthquakes that we witnessed on July 4th and 5th and not a foreshock for another large seismic event that is still coming.
Overall, there have been 8,578 earthquakes of all magnitudes in California and Nevada over the last 7 days. Most of those quakes have been extremely small, and seismologists expected that we would see thousands of aftershocks after the two huge earthquakes earlier this month.
But someday we will see “the Big One”, and all of our lives will change in an instant.
One angle that I have not really talked about is what such a quake would mean for the U.S. economy. Today, the number one economic asset in the entire country is our real estate. As a whole, the U.S. housing market is worth more than 33 trillion dollars, and the real estate in the state of California accounts for about one-third of that entire total.
So what do you think that it will do to our economy if vast stretches of that real estate were suddenly destroyed by an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or greater?
Unfortunately, earthquake insurance is not required in California, and approximately 90 percent of all homeowners in the state do not have it…
About 90 percent of Californians have no earthquake insurance. Unlike homeowners’ insurance (which doesn’t cover earthquakes), it is not required to obtain a mortgage, and having the coverage roughly doubles the standard cost of insuring a home.
So when they lose their homes, they are really going to lose their homes. Since the vast majority of them don’t have insurance, there won’t be any money to rebuild even if they wanted to.
And of course it isn’t just residents of the state of California that we need to be concerned about. Farther north, Seattle has been rattled by 3 sizable earthquakesover the past week, and for a long time I have been warning that an enormous eruption of Mt. Rainier is coming.
The entire west coast of the United States sits along the Ring of Fire, and we have seen very unusual seismic activity all along the Ring of Fire in recent weeks. A recent article posted by the Big Wobble cited a few of the examples that we have seen over the past few days…
A magnitude 6.4 (reduced to a 6.2) – 25km N of Kandrian, Papua New Guinea is the 5th major quake to strike the planet in the last 4 days.
The quake struck 26 km (14 miles) north of Kandrian, in New Britain, at a depth of 33 km.
There were no immediate reports of damage.
Nearby Indonesia’s Moluccas islands were hit by scores of aftershocks on Monday after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake killed at least two people, prompting hundreds of people to flee their homes on Sunday.
Unfortunately, most people still seem to be under the illusion that things will soon return to “normal”.
But the truth is that whatever was considered “normal” in the past will not be “normal” anymore.
And I am not just talking about seismic activity.