Southern San Andreas fault waiting to explode
Expert believes Los Angeles area at risk for massive earthquake
Reported by Reuters
Full story at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13457472/
LONDON - The southern end of the San Andreas fault near Los Angeles, which has been still for more than two centuries, is under immense stress and could produce a massive earthquake at any moment, a scientist said Wednesday.
Yuri Fialko, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at La Jolla, Calif., said that given average annual movement rates in other areas of the fault, there could be enough pent-up energy in the southern end to trigger a cataclysmic jolt of up to 32 feet (10 meters).
"The observed strain rates confirm that the southern section of the San Andreas fault may be approaching the end of the interseismic phase of the earthquake cycle," he wrote in the journal Nature.
A sudden lateral movement of 23 to 32 feet (7 to 10 meters) would be among the largest ever recorded.