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Quakeland’ Warns The U.S. Is Unprepared For The Next Big Quake

'Quakeland' Warns The U.S. Is Unprepared For The Next Big Quake


Kathryn Miles, author, "Quakeland"


Photo credit: Dutton

The cover for "Quakeland" by Kathryn Miles.

Earthquakes are something Californians have felt and have feared for decades. Now, a new book is warning that earthquakes aren't just a California problem.

Areas across the country, including New York City and Memphis, are overdue for earthquakes, science journalist Kathryn Miles wrote in “Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.” New York City is about 40 years overdue for a magnitude 5.0 quake, based on expert estimates, which would create more rubble than was seen in the aftermath of September 11.

“The threat of an earthquake on the San Andreas fault zone is real and absolutely something that requires our national attention,” Miles said. “What we’re learning however, is that it’s a much more pervasive problem than we’ve ever known.”

RELATED: Study: Offshore Fault System Could Produce 7.3 Earthquake

Earthquake researchers do not know where most fault lines are, and most major earthquakes in the last century came from faults that had not been discovered until then, Miles said.

“These are happening miles and miles below ground, and in some cases, miles and miles below the ocean floor,” she said. “It’s literally impossible to see what’s happening and it’s even very difficult and very, very expensive to get monitoring devices there.”

Miles joined KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss potential earthquake warning systems and how earthquakes in other major cities would affect the U.S.

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