September 15, 2005

USGS destroys L.A.

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at September 15, 2005 4:36 PM

Possibly of morbid interest to California readers: Results of a USGS simulation of The Big One hitting Los Angeles. (Via Fark.)

-The estimated fatalities could range from 3,000 to 18,000, with an average of 7,600.

-The total injuries could range from 56,000 to 268,000, with an average of about 120,000.

-The number of displaced households ranged from 142,000 to 735,000, with an average of 274,000.

But did they account for completely incompetent FEMA administrators? Also, I wonder if the equivalent study has been done for San Francisco. Or perhaps the Hayward fault, which runs under through the East Bay and directly under the Berkeley campus...

Tags: California, Science

One of my early thoughts (obviously shared by many others) with this whole business has been that So. California's long-discussed 'big one' could certainly bring about the same kind of stuff, given (in my case) that if the impact were comparable, it would be _my_ hometown destroyed (whether or not I'm actually living there at the time). As usual, I'm not optimistic about our preparedness.

Posted by: Mason | September 15, 2005 10:38 PM

This is supposed to make me feel better about Josh moving to LA, or what?

Posted by: Dad | September 16, 2005 6:57 AM

The Hayward Fault is CREEPING! Creeping, I tell you. All this stuff about how a major event on the Hayward fault could sever various important water pipelines, etc. is true, but the Hayfault fault doesn't have a record of those type of large events. IT just moves very slowly and constantly.

Posted by: Wren | September 16, 2005 8:42 AM

"... with an average of..."

Just as a side note, this isn't introductory thermo, so I expect we have to assume something *slightly* more detailed than a flat probability distribution over speculated outcomes. I mean come on, enough meaningless statistics!

Then again, I haven't read the article, so there's a fairly good chance (especially since it's me) that I'm talking out of my ass.

Posted by: Lemming | September 16, 2005 10:35 AM

Nevertheless, Lemming, you are to be commended for posting without once using the word "though."

Posted by: Dad | September 16, 2005 1:36 PM

Dad: Well, Chicago has had its share of natural disasters. Heat waves, zombie epidemics on election days...

Wren: Keep your facts away from my scaremongering! MY APOCALYPTIC TENOR HAS NOT BEEN DISPELLED!

Lemming: I did go looking for more technical information on the USGS site, but didn't find it at a cursory glance. So I don't know whether the averages are meaningful or just something they gave the press.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | September 16, 2005 1:43 PM

Oh, so Daley got elected by zombies...?

"Vote early, vote often."

Posted by: Mason | September 16, 2005 5:23 PM

Dad: (Dad? I haven't married the Gazebo... yet)

Posted by: Lemming | September 16, 2005 6:10 PM

You can't attack the gazebo. You might as well marry it.

Posted by: Mason | September 16, 2005 6:31 PM

Yet another reason I'm not living in LA. Of course, have they done this for the Bay Area?

Posted by: Chris LS | September 16, 2005 11:05 PM

This thread went to a disturbing place while I was out.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | September 16, 2005 11:41 PM

I have been thinking maybe I should change my posting name. Lemming's post just cinched it.

Posted by: JSpur | September 17, 2005 4:40 AM

There are plenty of simulations of quake damage in the Bay Area. Every year, there are huge fights at SSA about it. the problem is that the geometry and relationship between the SA and Hayward and a buncha littler faults are poorly understood.

Whereas, in LA, the damage is actually from the sedimentary deposits in the LA basin shaking due to a huge shock on the relatively simple SA down there.

Posted by: Wren | September 18, 2005 2:51 PM
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