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Researchers Predicting Major Earthquake for Northern CA


Aired 4/19/09

A group of California researchers predicts a major earthquake is coming within the next two years. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

UC Davis Professor John Rundle says studying seismic patterns has led to a formula for predicting the risk of a large quake – magnitude 6.0 or higher. Rundle, who heads up the UC Hazards Institute, says right now the northern part of the state’s at higher risk.

Rundle: Now that doesn’t absolutely mean that there’s going to be an earthquake in either northern or southern California, but the probability of it happening is rather high in northern California based on our research and rather low in southern California.

Rundle says they’re also testing a formula that may be able to predict the epicenter of the quake--within 50 miles or so. A U.S. Geological Survey spokesman says it’s interesting research, but as yet is unproven. The research is published in the Journal, Physical Review Letters. It’s being done in conjunction with scientists elsewhere – including NASA. From Sacramento, I’m Marianne Russ.

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