Around the world, natural disasters are shaking the daily course of events of many. Without very much notice, people have been subject to quickly evacuate from their homes, the massive hurricanes ravaging them while the occupants are gone. From Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Jose to wildfires, the destructive effects of global warming can be seen just about everywhere. On Thursday, Mexico was hit with a massive 8.2 earthquake, raising concerns from seismologists about the possibility of this occurring in California.
Well, California, it’s not looking too good. Mexico is California’s next-door neighbor and both places have major fault lines dispersed across their regions. Due to Mexico’s recent large seismic activity, many scientists believe that Southern California will be next, with devastating damage and death. Los Angeles is directly above the San Andreas Fault and a large earthquake would completely destroy Los Angeles and its surrounding counties, including Riverside, San Bernardino and San Luis Obispo. All of these are densely populated areas, many of them having large colleges and universities. The death toll could be one of the worst for a natural disaster in U.S. history: nearly 1,800, about the same number of people killed in Hurricane Katrina. Even worse, California is extremely unprepared for an earthquake of this size and magnitude. Mexico was the first country to implement a public earthquake early warning system after an 8.0 trembler in 1985, which strongly decreased the number of deaths. However, President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate federal funding for an earthquake early warning system being developed for California and the rest of the West Coast. Implementing this system could save countless lives and revolutionize the way Californians react and respond to earthquakes. The last large earthquake California faced was in San Francisco, in 1906. It measured a 7.9 and it completely changed the way people lived, with innovations and improvements in buildings and structure. Because there hasn’t been an earthquake of that magnitude in recent times, California’s population remains blissfully unaware of the damage quakes like this can cause. With the imminent possibility of one hitting California soon, survival tips need to become common knowledge.
In case this does actually happen, it is crucial that California residents know what to do to survive. If there is a quake, take shelter underneath something sturdy, such as a table or desk. Expect aftershocks, so make sure to stay underneath until you receive clearance from a emergency official. If Californians follow these tips, the survival rate will increase, despite the lack of modern earthquake detection technology.