Scientist Predict Mega-Storm Could Bring 3 Times More Destruction Than San Andreas Earthquake

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
February 25, 2019 Updated: February 25, 2019

Scientists are warning Californians after predicting that a rare mega-storm could cause three times as much destruction as an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault.

San Andreas is a tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and North America Plate that extends 750 miles through California. A powerful magnitude 8 earthquake could hit the state anytime as pressure has been building along the San Andreas Fault for more than a century, according to Newsweek.

A “big one” last devastated San Francisco in 1906. Such earthquakes have a frequency of once every few hundred years.

But experts at the U.S. Geological Survey predict that a rare mega-storm can do much more damage. They have termed this winter storm scenario, ARkStorm (for Atmospheric River 1,000).

This rare mega-storm, which is predicted inevitable due to ever-changing climate regimes, could last for weeks. It could impact more than 1.5 million people as floodwaters overrun cities and form lakes in the Central Valley and the Mojave Desert; the overall resulting damage due to the storm could be $725 billion statewide, according to U.S. Geological Survey.

“Nearly 3 times the loss deemed to be realistic by the ShakeOut authors for a severe southern California earthquake, an event with roughly the same annual occurrence probability,” said U.S. Geological Survey in its Overview of the ARkStorm Scenario.

An analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that the densely populated areas of the Los Angeles Basin could face an epic runoff from the San Gabriel Mountains. This could break the flood control dam on the San Gabriel River and release floodwaters from Pico Rivera to Long Beach.

This mega-storm is predicted to cause destruction in the Bay Area, too, especially in the San Francisco Bayshore and other coastal communities.

The Geological Survey’s overview document states that the storm could have various public policy implications.

“Responders and government managers at all levels could be encouraged to conduct risk assessments, and devise the full spectrum of exercises, to exercise ability of their plans to address a similar event,” it said.

The Overview also mentioned that common messages “to educate the public about the risk of such an extreme disaster as the ARkStorm Scenario could be developed and consistently communicated to facilitate policy formulation and transformation.”

The mega-storm impact was studied by 117 scientists, engineers, public policy experts, insurance experts, and employees of the affected lifelines.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya

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