California experiences approximately 10,000 earthquakes every year. Most of them are so small that they are not usually felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0. However, recent geological research shows that California is due for another big one. With several faults cutting through the San Francisco Bay Area, predicting the next catastrophic earthquake becomes a question of when and where, not if.
According to the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, scientists found that four faults have built up enough seismic strain to create destructive earthquakes. These include the Hayward Fault, Rodgers Creek Fault, Green Valley Fault and the Calaveras Fault. Each of these faults are all a part of California’s San Andreas Fault that spans 800 miles. These four faults pose such a serious threat because they lie under major cities and infrastructure, where most people live.
Scientists think that a devastating earthquake in California in the next 10 years is a near certainty, at or above 99%, according to the “Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast" or UCERF3. Tom Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center said, "people in Southern California should realize that the next 20 years are likely to be much more seismically active.”
What You Can Do
In high risk earthquake zones, seismic shut-off valves are indispensable; they protect facilities and businesses from gas fires by stopping gas flow at the exterior of a facility when an earthquake of significant magnitude occurs. Earthquake damages compounded by gas line explosions are so prevalent that natural gas contributes to one of every four fires after an earthquake. Many facilities have emergency plans that include manual shut-off valves. However, in the event of a sudden earthquake, these valves are hard to get to and usually can’t be reached in time by your staff. Even small, nearly undetectable earthquakes can result in natural gas leaks and damage to gas piping. Installing seismic shut off valves will significantly decrease the chance of a ﬁre or explosion and prevent damage to structures.
Who Can You Call?
Bi-annual gas line inspections along with seismic valves can help protect your facility from the danger of deadly gas leaks caused by earthquakes. MBS Engineering has installed over 100,000 seismic valves throughout the Golden State, so we have the experience, knowledge and skills to become your go-to company for all natural gas-related needs including gas leak detection, repairs, seismic gas shutoff valve installations, new construction, and more. Want to learn more about protecting your business fromearthquake related disasters? Give us a call (925) 406-3546 or visit our website. We’re here to help.