He escaped without injury and made a panicked dash to the local hospital where his terminally ill mother is being treated, but both of them ended up in the street - his mum still in her bed - after the facility was evacuated. We were pretty lucky to get out.
But after years of detective work, geologists have discovered that it can unleash mayhem on an epic scale. Over 15, people died.
Now scientists are calling attention to a dangerous area on the opposite side of the Ring of Fire, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a fault that runs parallel to the Pacific coast of North America, from northern California to Vancouver Island.
Decades of geological sleuthing recently established that although it appears quiet, this fault has ripped open again and again, sending vast earthquakes throughout the Pacific Northwest and tsunamis that reach across the Pacific. What happened in Japan will probably happen in North America.
The big question is when. On a foggy spring morning just before sunrise, 27 miles northwest of Cape Mendocino, California, a pimple of rock roughly a dozen miles below the ocean floor finally reaches its breaking point.
The first jolt of stress coming out of the rocks sends a shock wave hurtling into Northern California and southern Oregon like a thunderbolt.
For a few stunned drivers on the back roads in the predawn gloom, the pulse of energy that tears through the ground looks dimly like a mile wrinkle moving through a carpet of pastures and into thick stands of redwoods.
Telephone poles whip back and forth as if caught in a hurricane. Power lines rip loose in a shower of blue and yellow sparks, falling to the ground where they writhe like snakes, snapping and biting.
Lights go out and the telephone system goes down. Cornices fall, brick walls crack, plate glass shatters. Pavement buckles, cars and trucks veer into ditches and into each other. A bridge across the Eel River is jerked off its foundations, taking a busload of farm workers with it.
With computers crashing and cell towers dropping offline, all of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California are instantly cut off from the outside world, so nobody beyond the immediate area knows how bad it is here or how widespread the damage.
Early morning commuters emerging from a BART station in San Francisco feel the ground sway beneath their feet and immediately hit the sidewalk in a variety of awkward crouches, a familiar fear chilling their guts.
Then another little rough spot on the bottom of the continent snaps off. The fault unzips some more. The outer edge of California snaps free like a steel spring in a juddering lurch—nine feet to the west.
The continental shelf heaves upward, lifting a mountain of seawater. The fault continues to rip all the way to Newport, Oregon, halfway up the state. The magnitude suddenly jumps to 8. A power surge blows a breaker somewhere east of town and feeds back through the system, throwing other breakers in a cascade that quickly crashes the entire grid in Oregon, Washington, and parts of California, Idaho, and Nevada.
A brownout begins in six more western states. The wire line phone systems crash in lockstep. Then another fragment of rock deep underneath Newport shears away. The fault unzips the rest of the way to Vancouver Island.
The quake now pins seismic needles at magnitude 9.
High-rise towers in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria begin to undulate. The shock wave hammers through sandy soil, soft rock, and landfill like the deepest notes on a big string bass. The mushy ground sings harmony and tall buildings hum like so many tuning forks. On I-5, the main north-south interstate highway, 37 bridges between Sacramento and Bellingham, Washington, collapse or are knocked off their pins.
Five more go down between the Canada—United States border and downtown Vancouver. Nineteen railway bridges along the north-south coastal mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway are wrecked as well. The runways of every major coastal airport from Northern California to Vancouver are buckled, cracked, and no longer flyable.
After 50 cycles of harmonic vibration —skyscrapers swaying rhythmically from side to side in giddy wobbles—dozens of tall buildings have shed most of their glass.
In some downtown intersections the cascade of broken shards has piled up three feet deep. After 64 cycles, enough welds have cracked, enough concrete has spalled, enough shear walls have come unstuck that some towers begin to pancake.
Smaller buildings, but more of them.The multi-award winning moladi construction system was founded in South Africa in as a method of building cast in place reinforced monolithic structures.
The moladi technology was developed as a means to alleviate many of the cumbersome and costly aspects associated with conventional construction methods without compromising on the quality or integrity of the structure. TriNet is a five-year collaborative project to create a better, more effective real-time earthquake information system for Southern California.
TriNet will incorporate new technologies to provide vital information within minutes of an earthquake. Our goal is to mitigate the impact of future large earthquakes in Southern California. some of our most popular retail products with links to details and ordering information.
Just over one year ago, a magnitude-9 earthquake hit the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, triggering one of the most destructive tsunamis in a thousand years. Home: Relative2Me - Which earthquakes happened near you?
REQ2 - New version of Recent Earthquakes Map that uses Google Maps Did you feel it? - click Southern CA || Northern CA Click on an earthquake on the above map for a zoomed-in view. Special maps: Long Valley || Los Angeles || San Francisco Earthquake lists: big earthquakes || all earthquakes Magnitude =?
for new earthquakes . A POWERFUL earthquake flattened houses and toppled bridges on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, that killed a reported people and shaken neighbouring Bali, as authorities said that.