2017 Earthquake Forecast Highlights California’s Risk
A new USGS forecast indicates that Central California and Oklahoma have the highest risk of a damaging quake this year.
California continues to be among the most at-risk for “ground-shaking hazards” in the nation, but Oklahoma is facing a similar threat thanks to man-made earthquakes, according to a new US Geological Survey report.
The USGS Wednesday released its Y 2017 earthquake forecast, along with new maps that “… identify potential ground-shaking hazards in 2017 from both human-induced and natural earthquakes.”
Image via the USGS
“The good news is that the overall seismic hazard for this year is lower than in the 2016 forecast, but despite this decrease, there is still a significant likelihood for damaging ground shaking in the central and eastern US in the year ahead,” said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project.
Overall, the new maps indicate that much of California and Oklahoma are at the highest risk in the nation for a damaging earthquake in 2017. Those areas face a risk between 5 and 12 percent.
Officials with the the US Geological Survey pointed to wastewater disposal practices in the nation as one of the forces behind human-induced quakes. They said that the chance of a damaging temblor in parts of Oklahoma is now on par with that of California’s natural quakes.
“The forecasted chance of damaging ground shaking in central Oklahoma is similar to that of natural earthquakes in high-hazard areas of California,” the USGS said.
Petersen told the Associated Press that the area of California at the most risk of a natural quake is south of the San Francisco Bay area, near Gilroy. That’s because the area is home to the part of the San Andreas fault “… which seems most active.”
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