California partnership plans for "Big One" earthquake
| 05.23.2008 | 08:48:32 | Views: 4461 | ID:
May 23 '08: The Associated Press reported state and local officials in California have partnered with more than 300 scientists, first responders and private sector stakeholders to "create a realistic crisis scenario that can be used for preparedness," if the expected "Big One" earthquake were to erupt along the San Andreas Fault. In the press release the US Geological Survey said a response exercise has been planned for November 2008 called "Golden Guardian '08" which will focus on a magnitude 7.8 temblor that lasts four minutes.
The announcement was followed by the release of technical and non-technical versions of a report called "The ShakeOut Scenario". On June 4th, state and local officials will begin a public service campaign to raise awareness about the "imminent" earthquake in the hopes that the general public will take specific steps toward preparing their homes, businesses and families.In the report, officials said that the hypothetical quake (based on an expected one sometime in the future) would expose at least 10 million people to "heavy shaking". Deaths would be expected at about 1,800; most infrastructure including telecommunications would be shut down; more than 600,000 buildings would be destroyed or severely damaged while about 1,600 fires would be ignited. Total economic damages would range from $25 to $60 billion depending on how damaging widespread fires and the extent of damage to the water infrastructure, the press release said. The Los Angeles Times reported that overall, economic and infrastructure damage would be severe. "The temblor would disrupt the movement of goods to and from major ports; manufacturing plants would halt production and face additional costs to transport goods out of the region; and hundreds of older commercial office buildings would crumble. ... The report predicts that financial institutions would face a growing number of loans in default as businesses collapsed and individuals gave up on recouping their losses." MyDesert.com reported in the Coachella Valley that residents would essentially be cut off from response and recovery efforts. Desert Water Agency general manager Dave Luker told the site, "I think the Coachella Valley would be on its own for awhile. We need to look at it that way and approach it in a fashion where we can exist - maybe not as we would like, but at least exist." Additionally, the USGS release a series of real-time virtualizations showing how the energy waves of the earthquake would emanate from the fault lines, traveling at 2 miles a second. National Blueprint Tags: Response & Containment, Transportation & Logistics, Communication & Public Information, Economic & Infrastructure, Citizen & Community.
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