Are You Prepared for an Earthquake?

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Are You Prepared for an Earthquake?

Stella El-Fishawy and Carly McAdam

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Being prepared for an earthquake is easy, and it can save your life.  According to the United States geological survey, the chance of having one or more earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale in the next 30 years is greater than 99% in California. An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 can cause extreme damage to poorly built or badly designed structures, partial collapse of substantial buildings, and buildings to shift off their foundations.

Earthquakes can result in buildings crumbling, bridges breaking, landslides, flooding, ground displacement, tsunamis, and fires. Even if the earthquake that is bound to happen in California is closer to the lowest predicted magnitude, it could still be devastating. For comparison, there was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Lombok, Indonesia in 2018. As a result, over 460 people were killed and 350,000 people’s homes were destroyed. Although Indonesia and the US have very different infrastructures and medical and emergency capabilities, an earthquake can still be deadly in the US. Another example is the 1989 earthquake in the Bay Area, which was also 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake killed 67 people and caused around $5 to $6 billion dollars in damages around $11 to $12 billion in today’s dollars. However, this doesn’t have to be the case in the event of an earthquake in California.

Here are some tips on how to be prepared for an earthquake and what to do if an earthquake strikes.