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A recent NASA study¹ declares

that there is a 99.9% liklihood

of a magnitude-5 or greater

earthquake striking

within 3 years in the

greater Los Angeles area…

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For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   Unfortunately, the AP report by John Antczak of this study  is remarkably thin, but here are a few facts.

   The release says, “The study released Tuesday [Oct. 20, 2015] was based on Global Positioning System and airborne radar measurements of how the Earth’s crust was deformed by the magnitude-5.1 quake on March 28, 2014, in La Habra, about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.” etc. etc.

   So go figure…

   What’s the take-away here?

   (1)  First, the “number.” It’s based on the logarithmic Moment Magnitude Scale (developed in 1970) which is an improvement of the older Richter Scale developed in the 1930s. It goes from 0 to 10, with each higher number representing 10 times the power or force of the preceding number. It’s complicated to go much further in what this exactly means.

   (2)  A “5″ then is in the middle of the MMS scale. It may be quickly described as “Can cause damage of varying severity to poorly constructed buildings. At most, none to slight damage to all other buildings. Felt by everyone.”

   (3)  So it shouldn’t be a blockbuster, but still something serious. (And, by the way, perhaps a thousand or more of these “5′s” happen each year on Earth.)

   (4)  While we wait to see what happens in the next 3 years, go see the movie “San Andreas.” A really, really big earthquake has been talked about coming to California for some time…

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   ¹ As we said, this AP report has been thin on understandable detail. It does mention, however, that the U.S. Geological Survey has taken issue with this study, lowering the probability from 99.9% to 85%.