SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Multiple quakes hit across California on Tuesday. All of them were a 3.5 magnitude or greater. But one area is significantly safer than the rest of the state.
“You’re in earthquake country. About 90% of our population lives within 10 to 20 miles of a damaging earthquake fault,” Cynthia Pridmore, an engineering geologist, said.
A magnitude 4.3 earthquake shook the East Bay Tuesday afternoon. Then, a 3.2 quake hit within minutes and could be felt as far Stockton, because of the density of the ground where it hit.
“It’s not out in the valley so it rings. When you hit hard rock it spreads that energy out so people felt it pretty wide,” Pridmore said.
While shocks can be felt for miles, not all of California is created equal when it comes to earthquake risks. Maps show recent quakes, to east and west of Sacramento.
“We’re not likely to feel a lot of earthquakes here,” Pridmore said.
There aren’t many active faults in the area, and the location creates a safety nest.
“Sacramento’s in a valley so in that sense our earthquake risk is lower,” Ryan Arba, with Cal OES, said.
That means if a large earthquake does hit, that could send people flocking to the area. It’s something the California Office of Emergency Services is already preparing for.
“We have a mechanism for sharing those resources in order to support of short-term influx of people in any one particular community. Our mutual aid system here in California, where it’s neighbor helping neighbor,” Arba said.
A sudden increase in people moving to the Sacramento area could put a strain on resources, and send rental and real estate prices soaring. But emergency management crews say they are learning from each quake that hits, so the next time, the damage will be less, and the recovery time will be quicker because they know, it’s only a matter of time until the next one hits.
“We know it’s not a matter of if an earthquake happens, but when,” Arba said.
Cal OES is working on an app to alert the entire state of an earthquake before it happens. The app is expected to launch this fall.