"A strong and deadly earthquake is virtually certain to strike on one of California's major seismic faults within the next 30 years, scientists said Monday in the first official forecast of statewide earthquake probabilities."This is about as accurate as throwing a dart; this must have closed their eyes and poked a pin, huh? This is so much like the Great Kreskin its funny.
actually its the same type of generalization that negates the idea of psychic phenomenon to so many of our population. This is about as accurate as throwing a pancake in the air and then saying 'within the next ten seconds the pancake will fall down' -- well no duh. And if they are wrong, in thirty years how many of those predictors will still be around to answer for their bad data??
The sure fact that California is riddled with fault lines means that it is likely that they will have an Earthquake w/in the next 30 yrs .... the fact that CA is getting over crowded increases the fact that any large quake will be deadly - the only city that has taken on a major attempt to retrofit older buildings is San Fran, but then they really have to considering what the city is built on (see note at bottom).
Now I grew up in a time when it was predicted that CA would fall into the ocean because of a major 7.5 quake along the San Andreas fault - yes they actually predicted that it would fall off the continent and sink into the sea ... I know silly but they really thought it would happen!! now to their credit they were right about there being a large earthquake in CA before the end of the 20
This is the same thing - of course there's going to be another large quake ... they have re analysed the data of the earthquakes and have simply concluded that things seem to happen in cycles and CA is just coming around to another cycle ... that's all.
NOTE: okay so not a lot of people realize the truth behind the city of San Francisco and why it is that earthquakes seem to demolish the city so badly - it is based partly on the soil that the city is built on and partly on the fact that a good portion of the city isn't actually built on soil at all.
San Fran is built on a soil that is actually made of teeny tiny pebble like material (silt) and during an earthquake it moves more like a liquid than a solid - here's an experiment, it will take one box of corn starch (two is better), some water and a big plastic tub (preferably something big and with low sides but something tall will work too.
Pour the entire box of starch into the container (the starch needs to be at least 1/2" deep) and then add some water to it, just enough to cover; now stir it up. wait a few minutes while the starch resettles. Now reach in and grab a fist full of starch, squeeze it tight - see how solid it feels? Now with the other hand just scoop some up without squeezing -- notice the difference??
The solid feeling stuff is like the SF soil during normal conditions - the other hand however is more like the soil during a quake, the molecules get slippery and don't adhere well to each other because the movement allows so much other substance to get between them.
Okay -- its not a perfect correlation -- but it is a very fun experiment<:-D>
not to mention the fact that SF has had this awful habit of just pushing the old crumbled buildings into the off into the bay which did have the side effect of making SF larger as it made a landfill, but the buildings built upon this area (most of the business district) might as well be balancing on the tip of a pin, one moderate earthquake (won't even take a huge one) and the majority of their buildings will end up in the bay with an unpredictable loss of life.