The 'Big One' Is Coming And SoCal Is In Serious Danger, Says New Report

Southern California is seriously overdue for a massive earthquake, but one new report suggests we aren't even close to being prepared for it, reports the L.A. Times.

According to the report, "Strengthening SoCal: Southern California Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative," one of the major areas of concern is the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino. The mountain pass runs right along the San Andreas Fault along with gas and petroleum pipelines, railways and one major freeway, the 15 North. A break in the pipeline will not only affect utilities for a vast network of California residents, it could also cause explosions and forest fires.

This is particularly troubling considering movement of unprecedented proportions has been measured along the fault line very recently. The LA Times says that, in the wake of a massive earthquake, we could see an "explosion so powerful it leaves behind a crater."

The Times reports that currently, shut off valves have not been installed in the pipelines along the Cajon Pass, which needs to happen if we are to prevent fuel leakage and a potential explosion. To effectively put out these fires, California would need better water pipes as well, a problem that has plagued the state's infrastructure for decades.

Among other problems, the report states that better efforts must be made to adequately retrofit aging buildings. While retrofitted buildings obviously save lives, they also save the state money in disaster relief.

Put together by researchers, policy leaders, utility experts and the USC Bedrosian Center on Governance, this report gives Californians a serious reality check. As the report states,

No one is going to come in and 'rescue' our communities, and government can't solve the preparedness and mitigation aspects of this problem alone. We can't wait for others to give direction or resources -- we must take the reins ourselves.

Citations: Report Says SoCal Will Face 'Catastrophe' If We Don't Prepare For The Big One (laist)