Fault line under Ventura may produce catastrophic earthquake, tsunami

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A fault line running underneath a portion of Southern California may be more dangerous than experts first believed. (KABC)

A fault line running underneath a portion of Southern California may be more dangerous than experts first believed. Officials now say it could produce stronger shaking, even a significant tsunami.

The Pitas Point Fault, which runs underneath downtown Ventura from the ocean, has the potential to trigger a catastrophic earthquake, according to a study.

The powerful temblor would be felt from Santa Barbara all the way down to Southern California.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the Ventura fault line is connected to other fault lines in Los Angeles and San Bernardino. The chain reaction would trigger violent shaking and could trigger a tsunami to hit the coast.

"If the offshore section of the fault did rupture and cause enough displacement of the ground surface, or possibly landsliding associated with that, you could have tsunamis that are generated both that could be somewhat small and affect the local area, or it could actually propagate out to the rest of the basin," said Dr. Kate Scharer from USGS.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department has plans to safely evacuate people away from the shoreline. In fact, the county has in place a system that sends emergency messages to all cellphones warning of the tsunami threat with instructions on what to do.

If anything, this study has people talking about earthquake and tsunami preparedness.

Related Topics:
weatherdisasterearthquaketsunamiVenturaVentura County
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