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Earthquakes on the West Coast--why have there been not as many deadly ones as once predicted?

When I was growing up we were being warned constantly that there were going to be giant earthquakes on the West Coast, but there have been so few major ones in my lifetime: the 1971 San Fernando earthquake (death toll: 65), 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (death toll: 63), and the Northridge earthquake (death toll: 57).

In contrast, there seem to have been far more earthquakes in my lifetime in Turkey and Iran (in particular) where thousands of people are killed each time.

I should clarify first of all I'm not complaining, by any means--I'm glad that things have been less disastrous than had been predicted in California, Oregon, and Washington. But was the threat overstated, or is it just that our buildings are far safer than Iran and Turkey (so we have far smaller death tolls), or what?

by Ava Gardnerreply 1404/11/2013

I can't speak for the seismology because it has been awhile since there's been a big one (if not THE big one) for a long time on the west coast.

But for Turkey it's probably because what passes for construction there would pass for paper mache here.

by Ava Gardnerreply 104/10/2013

There have been big quakes. In 1987 we had the Whittier quake, Northridge in 1994. Others that I'm forgetting. LA in particular has done a great job preparing for quakes with retrofitting, banning brick buildings, etc. So, when big quakes have happened, damaged was minimal. That said, if we get an 8.0 quake with its epicenter near downtown LA, we're fucked.

by Ava Gardnerreply 204/10/2013

I guess we're not fucking enough.

by Ava Gardnerreply 304/10/2013

I've been to Turkey (granted just to Istanbul), and it's not a developing nation--it's like Spain or Italy.

by Ava Gardnerreply 404/10/2013

Because fewer women are wearing revealing clothes.

by Ava Gardnerreply 504/10/2013

I think r3 has it

by Ava Gardnerreply 604/11/2013

God is waiting until gay marriage is a Federal right.

by Ava Gardnerreply 704/11/2013

Patience, Op... you'll get your thrill.

by Ava Gardnerreply 804/11/2013

The USA has an Earthquake Machine, Iran, Turkey etc etc .. do not.

by Ava Gardnerreply 904/11/2013

I want the east coast to have another small quake so I can watch our L.A. Anchors laugh at them again.

by Ava Gardnerreply 1004/11/2013

Can we jump up and down on the San Andreas and make California sink into the ocean?

by Ava Gardnerreply 1104/11/2013

I'm getting close! Shit yeah. Uh Uh UhHHHHHH. Fuck FUCK FUCK I"M CUMMINGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

by Ava Gardnerreply 1204/11/2013

Because when it comes it will be bigger than anticipated. Duh.

by Ava Gardnerreply 1304/11/2013

Seattle will eventually get hit by an 8 point earthquake when the Juan de Fuca fault shifts. Anchorage was hit with the 1964 Good Friday earthquake that was over 9 points and was virtually destroyed.

by Ava Gardnerreply 1404/11/2013
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