Earthquake Prediction: ‘No One In The World Is Safe’ — Major Quakes Could Strike Anytime

The world’s major fault lines have been too quiet, for too long, and experts expect a series of major earthquakes to strike at many moment anywhere on the globe.

It’s not a question of if, but when a major earthquake will strike and “no one in the world is safe,” UTS Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering senior lecturer Dr. Behzad Fatahi told

“There are at least 5-10 [fault lines] that are overdue, but we don’t know when they’re going to happen.”

It’s impossible to predict when or where the potentially apocalyptic earthquakes will strike, although experts say the chance of a California quake larger than Italy’s recent temblor is more than likely.

An earthquake along any one of California’s fault lines is likely to be more intense and last longer, Mark Benthien from the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) told Sputnik News.

“We could have a larger earthquake, a much larger earthquake, than what happened in Italy, on [California’s] San Andreas fault, or any of the other hundreds of faults in California, really at any time.

“It’s just the reality of living on a plate boundary of the Earth’s crust.”

Although California is at high risk of a major earthquake, it’s not the only area situated along an important fault line that hasn’t been activated in a while, Dr. Fatahi told

“There are a lot of magnitude 6-plus earthquakes overdue in the Middle East, India, China, Japan and the U.S.”

Fault lines should be activated every 100 to 500 years to release pressure building underground and the longer they go without causing an earthquake, the bigger the quake will be when it finally comes.

That was the case in Italy, which sits on two different fault lines, this week when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area killing 281 people and injuring hundreds more, Dr. Fatahi told

“The Eurasian Plate and African Plate both have a very big fault line where they meet somewhere under Italy… this is what caused the earthquake.”

That earthquake caused massive devastation this week and rescue efforts are still going on as the Italian prime minister declared a state of emergency and authorized millions in funding for the area.

There have been more than 500 aftershocks since the initial earthquake occurred, sparking new fears of fresh building collapses.

The area has long been seismically active and is experiencing continental drift as the eastern area of the country moves northeast relative to Rome. Wednesday’s earthquake in Italy happened exactly 1,937 years ago to the day that Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE and completely destroyed Pompeii, Professor Mark Quigley from the University of Melbourne told

“Strong shaking from these earthquakes has the potential to inflict major damage and loss of life in urban areas.”

Earthquakes are caused by the shifting of tectonic plates, huge slabs of rock that comprise the Earth’s crust, the ground we all live on. These tectonic plates move every so often causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. The area with the greatest amount of movement is along the “Ring of Fire” that circles the Pacific Basin and includes the American West Coast, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand.

It’s these fault lines that caused the huge 2011 earthquake in Japan that resulted in a tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown.

Peru, which also lies on the “Ring of Fire” suffered a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 2007 that killed 595 people; earlier this month a similar quake killed four people and injured 68 villagers while knocking down about 50 homes.

Experts encourage everyone to have a stock of canned food and bottled water on hand in case of an emergency like the massive earthquakes being predicted by seismologists.

[Photo by Antonio Calanni/AP]

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