Experts Warn That The ‘Big One’ Is Expected To Strike The Bay Area By 2030

Experts have warned the Bay Area is long overdue an earthquake, the likes of which have not been seen in decades.

Labeled the ‘Big One’ by wary seismologists, the catastrophic event is likely to strike within the next seven years and could spell doom for residents of the town of Alameda, according to a report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS)

The Mail Online reports: The small city was once a peninsula, connected to Oakland by a small landmass that more than 100 years ago was dredged out to lengthen a shipping strait. 

Since then, the town has existed as an island – while growing exponentially in size over the past century thanks to the addition of hundreds of acres of reclaimed land.

However, the reclamation effort took place in the early 1900s, leading scientists for years implore the town of roughly 76,000 to reanalyze its earthquake readiness. 

Speaking to a Bay Area paper, the director of earthquake sciences for USGS said the city is at risk of collapsing in on itself when a quake does eventually strike – with Alameda poised to bear the brunt of the disaster.

‘With fill, it’s a little like a house of cards,’ Christine Goulet of the USGS told Mercury News Alameda’s earthquake readiness, saying that citizens could see their community come tumbling down before 2030 if nothing is done.

Goulet has a Ph.D. in civil engineering from UCLA, and said most of the six-mile wide landmass is at risk of liquefaction – a phenomenon that occurs under serious shaking that causes water-logged soil to lose its strength and behave like a liquid.

She further warned that the wet marshland pumped from the bottom of the San Francisco Bay in the early part of the previous century was likely not packed down properly – leading to more cause for concern.

She said of the process: ‘What happens is they dredge material from nearby sea or bay, which has a mix of clay and silt, and then they just put that in without compacting it appropriately.’

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