Notably, a similar seismic disaster, which claimed the lives of more than 28,000 people after 6 days, is entirely possible in California, USA, due to its geographical location.
According to the documents, large earthquakes can disrupt the southern San Andreas fault line from near the Mexican border through Los Angeles County, and can cause large aftershocks to shake cities as far away as Sacramento and San Francisco are in the state of California.
Karl Mueller, professor of geosciences at the University of Colorado, explained in an interview with The Associated Press that tectonic plates can either collide or slide sideways. “That is what we are seeing in Turkey. We’re seeing a plate move north and hit Turkey. This country is sliding sideways out of the larger plate,” Mueller said.
According to him, Californians are at risk of facing a similar tragedy that occurs along the San Andreas fault line, which runs about 1,200km through California territory.
“This earthquake is an example of what is to come in Southern California. It’s true that there are differences between the infrastructure and urbanization in Turkey compared to Southern California, but in terms of the energy released during the earthquake, here’s what we think might happen. ‘, Professor Mueller warned.
A report by the US Geological Survey (USGS) published in 2008 detailed a hypothetical magnitude 7.8 earthquake that occurred in Southern California. A reasonable earthquake scenario would include a magnitude 6.95 earthquake that shook Sacramento and Modesto three days after the main quake, jeopardizing the stability of levees, scientists say. , which is critical to maintaining flood control and moving water from the northern Sierra Nevada to cities across the state.
Quite large distant aftershocks have occurred in California before.
Seismologist Lucy Jones said the massive 1906 quake – famous for destroying much of San Francisco – also caused tremors further away on the same day, including a magnitude 5.5 aftershock. in Santa Monica Bay and a magnitude 6 aftershock in the Imperial Valley, near the Mexican border.
Supermassive earthquakes are more likely to cause supermassive aftershocks, and they can occur at much greater distances than smaller earthquakes.
For example, the great earthquake of 1906 disrupted a large swath of the North San Andreas fault line, from Humboldt County near Eureka, through the San Francisco Bay Area, and into San Benito County, east of Monterey.
The length of the fault line is very important. Seismic scientists say that a follow-up quake generated at a distance from the main tremor by the fault’s length could be considered an aftershock.
Watch a video of the damage caused by the earthquake in Hatay, Turkey (source: Guardian):
That means the Santa Monica Bay earthquake, about 400km from the southernmost point of the San Andreas fault line, would be considered an aftershock of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
In addition, subsequent earthquakes at a distance nearly four times the fault length of the main earthquake are considered remote “triggered” earthquakes.
Therefore, the fault line length in the earthquake in Turkey – about 200 – 300km long – will create a higher probability of subsequent earthquakes, even as far as 1,000km from the fault length. vibration fracture.
“So at a distance of 1,000 km, we have a much higher chance of an earthquake,” says seismologist Lucy Jones.
Therefore, it is very likely that a magnitude 8.2 earthquake south of the San Andreas fault line could lead to a subsequent earthquake in San Francisco. If the fault is larger and it extends north to Parkfield then all of the Bay Area is within one fault length.
As for how to prepare for an earthquake of that scale, geologist Muller asserts that having ready stocks of essential resources such as water and food is imperative. He advises Californians to stock up on long-term supplies of clean water and food that can last several weeks and shut off gas valves as soon as an earthquake hits.