In the wake of three major earthquakes in the news since Monday night, don’t be surprised to soon see another in a series (with Associated Press the best candidate) pointing to an upcoming “Big One” in California, figures Grumpy Editor.
Inspiration comes from a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that rattled the Colorado-New Mexico border Monday night, a 5.8 shaker than rumbled along the East Coast on Tuesday and a 6.9 temblor that hit northern Peru’s jungle region yesterday.
Of the trio, the East Coast quake that sent people into the streets in Washington, D.C., and New York City, stirred up the most action, grabbing hefty national air time and newspaper space Tuesday, yesterday and into today.
Periodically, AP reminds print and broadcast media --- so they can shake up readers/viewers --- that the “Big One” is coming.
Grumpy Editor feels another reminder is in the works.
One alarming example from a past AP story: “California faces an almost certain risk of being rocked by a strong earthquake by 2037.”
For that outlook, AP cited a seismic forecast by scientists that pointed to a magnitude 6.7 quake (equal to the 1994 Northridge jolt) or larger within 26 years.
Another past AP “shake ‘em up” story stemmed from a hypothetical model, worked up by scientists, that indicated a mighty 7.8 magnitude earthquake would “see Los Angeles and its suburbs shake like a bowl of jelly” in less than two minutes and 50,000 people would be injured in Southern California.
That would exceed the estimated 7.7 magnitude quake that rattled the lower section of the San Andreas Fault in Southern California 321 years ago and a 7.8 earth mover 154 years ago in Central California.
However, further earthquake coverage will take a back seat as strengthening Hurricane Irene moves up along the East Coast, affecting some of the same areas hit by Tuesday's shaker.
Weather and related developments such as power outages and flooding will be the focus of news coverage over the next few days and into the weekend.