Earthquake Prediction: California Is Next
And hit to San Andreas or Cascadia faults could be even 'scarier'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 19, 2011 7:00 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Is what happened in Japan set to repeat itself in California? Author Simon Winchester thinks so. In an article for Newsweek that’s turning some heads, Winchester notes that though scientists aren’t sure why, major earthquakes have a tendency to happen in clusters, with a quake on one side of a plate followed by one on the other some weeks or months later. “It is as though the earth becomes like a great brass bell,” he writes. Strike it in one place, and the vibrations carry.

After last month’s quake in New Zealand and last year’s quake in Chile, the Pacific plate has now seen catastrophic quakes on three of its corners. The only corner left untouched: the northeast, meaning either the San Andreas fault or Cascadia fault—the latter of which would trigger a tsunami. Winchester repeated his warning on MSNBC, in an interview spotted by Mediaite, saying that California “really isn’t taking this seriously enough.”

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Comments
Showing 3 of 28 comments
Pencil
Mar 16, 2011 4:52 PM CDT
What is a cluster? Did anyone take probability? Flip a coin a hundred times and you will get clusters! One probability teacher has his students every year create two lists, one where they randomly write out 100 Hs or Ts without the aid of a coin, and the other where they do so with the aid of a coin. The strings would appear something like this: HTTHTHTTTH (the H standing for Heads and the T for Tails). He could guess which was done with the coin because it would contain clusters and the one without the coin would not. So define cluster? When a quake occurs, how do we know it belongs to some continuing cluster or if it belongs to some new cluster? What is the time frame? Where is the science here? If quakes on one side predict quakes on the other, wouldn't scientists have known that long ago?
CarpeDiem
Mar 16, 2011 9:51 AM CDT
Yeah, right. The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Lets sell lottery tickets for the winning date. We see a terrible tragedy across the ocean and mass hysteria follows. Come on man!! Lets work on what we can control and leave the rest to GOD. This "author" Winchester should be writing for Marvel comics.
culturecritic
Mar 15, 2011 11:03 PM CDT
Is this how Tina Brown's magic thinking will save Newsweek and make the Daily Beast legit?