USGS Scientist: Major Quake On Hayward Fault Expected ‘Any Day Now’

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(CBS SF) — The fault that produced a 4.0-magnitude earthquake in Fremont early Tuesday morning is expected to produce a major earthquake “any day now” and Bay Area residents should be prepared, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist said.

The quake caused some BART delays early Tuesday while work crews checked the tracks, but appears to have caused no major damage. At least 13 smaller quakes or aftershocks had been reported near the same location as of 6:42 a.m., the largest of which was a 2.7-magnitude at 2:56 a.m.

While damage from the quake was minimal, scientists warn that a much larger one is expected on the Hayward Fault, which extends from San Pablo Bay in the north to Fremont in the south and passes through heavily populated areas including Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward and Fremont.

The last big earthquake on the fault, estimated to have a 6.8-magnitude, occurred in 1868, according to the USGS.

“The population is now 100 times bigger in the East Bay, so we have many more people that will be impacted,” said Tom Brocher, a research geophysicist with the USGS.

While a 2008 report put the probability of a 6.7-magnitude or larger earthquake on the Hayward-Rodgers Creek Fault system over the next 30 years at 31 percent, Brocher said the reality is a major quake is expected on the fault “any day now.”

“The past five major earthquakes on the fault have been about 140 years apart, and now we’re 147 years from that 1868 earthquake, so we definitely feel that could happen any time,” Brocher said.

Brocher urged residents to take steps to prepare for a major earthquake.

Full article: USGS Scientist: Major Quake On Hayward Fault Expected ‘Any Day Now’ (CBS SF Bay Area)

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