LDS Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared, Not Scared!

Earthquake Myths

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

clix (sxc.hu)

MYTH #1: ” Big Earthquakes Always Happen in the Early Morning!”

Earthquakes happen at all times of the day.

Significant Southern California earthquakes since 1857
Date Time Location Magnitude
1 01-09-1857 8:24 am Fort Tejon 7.9
2 02-24-1892 11:20 pm Laguna Salada 7.3
3 12-25-1899 4:25 am San Jacinto/Hemet 6.7
4 04-21-1918 2:31 pm San Jacinto 6.8
5 06-29-1925 7:42 am Santa Barbara 6.8
6 11-04-1927 5:51 pm Offshore Lompoc 7.1
7 03-10-1933 5:54 pm Long Beach 6.4
8 05-18-1940 8:37 pm Imperial Valley 6.9
9 04-10-1947 7:58 am Manix 6.5
10 07-21-1952 3:52 am Kern County 7.5
11 04.09.1968 6:29 pm Borrego Mountain 6.6
12 02-09-1971 6:01 am San Fernando 6.6
13 10-15-1979 4:16 pm Imperial Valley 6.4
14 07-08-1986 2:21 am North Palm Springs 5.7
15 10-01-1987 7:42 am Whittier Narrows 5.9
16 11-24-1987 5:15 am Superstition Hills 6.6
17. 06-28-1991 7:43 am Sierra Madre 5.8
18. 04-22-1992 9:50 pm Joshua Tree 6.1
19. 06-28-1992 4:57 am Landers 7.3
20. 06-28-1992 8:05 am Big Bear 6.3
21. 01-17-1994 4:30 am Northridge 6.7
22. 10-16-1999 2:46 am Hector Mine 7.1
23. 12-22-2003 11:15 am San Simeon 6.5
24. 07-29-2008 11:42 am Chino Hills 5.4

Myth #2 – “Earthquake faults can open wide enough to swallow people and buildings!”

Gaping faults exist only in fiction. During an earthquake, the ground moves across a fault, not away from it. If the fault could open, there would be no friction. If there was no friction, there would be no earthquakes.

Myth #3 – “California will split apart from the United States and sink into the ocean!”

Western California is moving horizontally along the San Andreas fault (the land on both sides of the fault are converging and getting closer together), and up around the Transverse ranges (mountains to the northeast of the LA basin).  The ocean is not a great hole into which the state can fall, but is itself land at a somewhat lower elevation with water above it.

Myth #4 – “We must have good buildings because we have good building codes!”

What if buildings were built before a code was enacted?   Check if  your building has been retrofitted.

Myth #5 – “Go for the doorway when an earthquake strikes!”

Modern homes are built so that doorways are no safer than any other part of the house.  You are much safer under a table.

Myth #6 – “Everyone will panic during the big one!”

Research shows that people are prone to protect themselves and help others during and after earthquakes.

Myth #7 – “The weather is hot and dry and that means  Earthquake!

Earthquakes start many kilometers below the region affected by surface weather.

 

Orginally posted October, 2009

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