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Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday October 27, 2006

How’s Your Earthquake Knowledge? (Part 3) 


Rate yourself: Are the following statements true, or false? 

1. The latest seismic technology has made earthquake prediction possible, but is only accurate up to 30 minutes before a major rupture.  

2. We can tell where an earthquake has occurred because we can see where the ground on the surface that has moved. 

3. The most shaking in earthquakes occurs next to the epicenter. 


The answer to each of the above is “false.” 

1. We do not have the ability to accurately predict earthquakes. 

2. We can only view a fault on the surface if the rupture which generated the earthquake extends to the surface. Strong earthquakes can occur without the rupture extending to the surface. The rupture did not extend to the surface in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, nor the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. 

3. The epicenter is only the point on the surface above the location where the fault begins the slip which generates the earthquake. The epicenter is not synonymous with “ground zero.” 



Larry Guillot is the owner of QuakePrepare, an earthquake consulting, securing and kit supply service. Contact him at 558-3299. Visit www.quakeprepare.com to receive e-mails and safety reports.