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Preparedness Tips: Earthquake Myths

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Earthquakes happen at all times of the day.
Significant Southern California earthquakes since 1857
DateTimeLocationMagnitude
101-09-18578:24 amFort Tejon7.9
202-24-189211:20 pmLaguna Salada7.3
312-25-18994:25 amSan Jacinto/Hemet6.7
404-21-19182:31 pmSan Jacinto6.8
506-29-19257:42 amSanta Barbara6.8
611-04-19275:51 pmOffshore Lompoc7.1
703-10-19335:54 pmLong Beach6.4
805-18-19408:37 pmImperial Valley6.9
904-10-19477:58 amManix6.5
1007-21-19523:52 amKern County7.5
1104.09.19686:29 pmBorrego Mountain6.6
1202-09-19716:01 amSan Fernando6.6
1310-15-19794:16 pmImperial Valley6.4
1407-08-19862:21 amNorth Palm Springs5.7
1510-01-19877:42 amWhittier Narrows5.9
1611-24-19875:15 amSuperstition Hills6.6
17.06-28-19917:43 amSierra Madre5.8
18.04-22-19929:50 pmJoshua Tree6.1
19.06-28-19924:57 amLanders7.3
20.06-28-19928:05 amBig Bear6.3
21.01-17-19944:30 amNorthridge6.7
22.10-16-19992:46 amHector Mine7.1
23.12-22-200311:15 amSan Simeon6.5
24.07-29-200811:42 amChino Hills5.4

Myth #2 – “Earthquake faults can open wide enough to swallow people and buildings!”
Gaping faults exist only in fiction. During an earthquake, the ground moves across a fault, not away from it. If the fault could open, there would be no friction. If there was no friction, there would be no earthquakes.
Myth #3 – “California will split apart from the United States and sink into the ocean!”
Western California is moving horizontally along the San Andreas fault (the land on both sides of the fault are converging and getting closer together), and up around the Transverse ranges (mountains to the northeast of the LA basin). The ocean is not a great hole into which the state can fall, but is itself land at a somewhat lower elevation with water above it.
Myth #4 – “We must have good buildings because we have good building codes!”
What if buildings were built before a code was enacted? Check if your building has been retrofitted.
Myth #5 – “Go for the doorway when an earthquake strikes!”
Modern homes are built so that doorways are no safer than any other part of the house. You are much safer under a table.
Myth #6 – “Everyone will panic during the big one!”
Research shows that people are prone to protect themselves and help others during and after earthquakes.
Myth #7 – “The weather is hot and dry and that means Earthquake!
Earthquakes start many kilometers below the region affected by surface weather.

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Tags: california earthquake, earthquake, earthquake myths, earthquake panic, earthquake weather, morning earthquake

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