Bay Area quake could kill hundreds, injure thousands predicts USGS

A new study by the United States Geological Survey predicts an alarming disaster for the Bay Area - when a big quake hits the Hayward Fault.

It's not far off from what could happen in Southern California, and there are ways you can prepare.

Hundreds of dead and tens of thousands of injuries. The Bay Area is a tectonic time bomb. That's the apocalyptic prediction by the USGS, if a big quake were to hit Northern California.

Renowned earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones said that's just the beginning.

"As a life safety issue, it ranks way below many other things that could happen to you. But as an economic issue and future of our communities it's very scary and should be eye opening," said Dr. Jones.

The new report reveals the Hayward fault - which cuts through Oakland, Berkeley and Hayward - is more dangerous than the San Andreas in Southern California. A third of Bay Area residents live along that fault line.

But beyond the obvious damage, it's what would happen after that could alter the stability of the city.

"One of the results of this study, just like we saw for Southern California, is that the fires can double the losses or more," Jones said.

So what do we do with this information? Dr. Jones says you start by investing in your home and community. She says the more we do now, the easier it'll be to recover from tragedy.

"If you own a building you can make it safer. Every time I've bought a house I've gotten in a foundation specialist to look at how the foundation is put together. Three out of the four times I did some work. One time the house was just fine. And I've never spent more than $1,500 fixing up a single family home this way either," said Jones.
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