7.5 quake on California fault could be disastrous - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

7.5 quake on California fault could be disastrous

Posted: Updated:

LA HABRA, Calif. (AP) - Experts say a bigger earthquake along the lesser-known fault that gave Southern California a moderate shake could do more damage to the region than the long-dreaded "Big One" from the more famous San Andreas Fault.

The Puente Hills thrust fault, which brought Friday night's magnitude-5.1 quake centered in La Habra and well over 100 aftershocks by Sunday, stretches from northern Orange County under downtown Los Angeles into Hollywood - a heavily populated swath of the Los Angeles area.

A magnitude-7.5 earthquake along that fault could prove more catastrophic than one along the San Andreas, which runs along the outskirts of metropolitan Southern California, seismologists said.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that such a quake along the Puente Hills fault could kill 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage. In contrast, a larger magnitude 8 quake along the San Andreas would cause an estimated 1,800 deaths.

In 1987, the fault caused the Whittier Narrows earthquake. Still considered moderate at magnitude 5.9, that quake killed eight people and did more than $350 million in damage.

Part of the problem with the potential damage is that the fault runs near so many vulnerable older buildings, many made of concrete, in downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. And because the fault, discovered in 1999, is horizontal, heavy reverberations are likely to be felt over a wide area.

The shaking from a 7.5 quake in the center of urban Los Angeles could be so intense it would lift heavy objects in the air, like the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in Northern California, where the shaking was so bad "we found an upside-down grand piano," USGS seismologist Lucy Jones told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1houJzW ).

That would "hit all of downtown," Jones said. "And everywhere from La Habra to Hollywood."

About 150 aftershocks, including one of magnitude-4.1, were felt since Friday night's quake, which forced several dozen people in the Orange County city of Fullerton out of their homes after firefighters discovered foundation problems that made the buildings unsafe to enter, authorities said.

Fire crews red-tagged 20 apartment units after finding a major foundation crack, but residents have since been allowed to return. Structural woes, including broken chimneys and leaning, were uncovered in half a dozen single-family houses, which were also deemed unsafe to occupy until building inspectors clear the structures. About two dozen residents remained displaced, down from more than 80 after the initial quake.

Another 14 residential structures around the city suffered lesser damage, including collapsed fireplaces.

A water-main break flooded several floors of Brea City Hall, and the shaking knocked down computers and ceiling tiles, Stokes said.

It was not immediately clear if City Hall would reopen Monday. An email to the mayor was not immediately returned.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Toledo man pleads not guilty to raping girl, molesting her friends

    Toledo man pleads not guilty to raping girl, molesting her friends

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:03:39 GMT
    13abc has the angry reaction from the grandfather of one of the girls who says he trusted the suspect Brandon Greer. 
    13abc has the angry reaction from the grandfather of one of the girls who says he trusted the suspect Brandon Greer. 

  • Rossford shows support for local DWTS contestant

    Rossford shows support for local DWTS contestant

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:25 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:25:21 GMT
    You may know him as "Aaron Samuels" from Mean Girls, but before Jonathan Bennett was on the big screen, he was a Rossford Bulldog. Monday, his hometown packed the auditorium to see his debut on ABC's Dancing with the Stars."We decided we were going to celebrate Jonathan and everything he's done," Mayor Neil MacKinnon told 13abc. "He's never forgotten his community, he always comes back and he always gives back."Bennett is a 1999 graduate of Rossford High School.He was very involved in the dra...
    You may know him as "Aaron Samuels" from Mean Girls, but before Jonathan Bennett was on the big screen, he was a Rossford Bulldog. Monday, his hometown packed the auditorium to see his debut on ABC's Dancing with the Stars."We decided we were going to celebrate Jonathan and everything he's done," Mayor Neil MacKinnon told 13abc. "He's never forgotten his community, he always comes back and he always gives back."Bennett is a 1999 graduate of Rossford High School.He was very involved in the dra...
  • Young couple and 6-month-old son pistol whipped

    Young couple and 6-month-old son pistol whipped

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:48:50 GMT
    A young couple and their six month old baby were pistol whipped while walking to the store. The baby was rushed to the hospital. It happened a little after midnight at the corner of Walbridge and Langdon. "The whole thing is that they hit my grandson like why would you hit a baby. He didn't do anything," said the grandmother. She's afraid to show her face, but you can hear the anger in this grandmothers voice. She says someone robbed her 16 year old daughter, her daughters 19 year old boyfrie...
    A young couple and their six month old baby were pistol whipped while walking to the store. The baby was rushed to the hospital. It happened a little after midnight at the corner of Walbridge and Langdon. "The whole thing is that they hit my grandson like why would you hit a baby. He didn't do anything," said the grandmother. She's afraid to show her face, but you can hear the anger in this grandmothers voice. She says someone robbed her 16 year old daughter, her daughters 19 year old boyfrie...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!