NASA predicts 5.0-magnitude quake to hit major city by 2018
Monday, October 26, 2015, 12:53 PM - Experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., predict there’s a 99.9 per cent chance that a 5.0-magnitude quake will strike Los Angeles by April 2018.
The prediction includes a high possibility the quake might even surpass the 5.0 rank, reports say.
Geophysicist Andrea Donnellan and seven other scientists arrived at this conclusion by way of radar and GPS tools for measuring Southern California’s odds at a sizable earthquake.
The team examined 2014’s 5.1-magnitude quake in La Habra, Calif. and considered the possibility for quakes to occur within a 100-kilometre radius of the quake’s centre.
Co-written by Donnellan and published in the journal of Earth and Space Science, the study was quickly argued by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a leading agency examining earthquake science.
"This paper claims a 99.9% probability of an earthquake of magnitude 5 or greater occurring in the next three years within a large area of Southern California without providing a clear description of how these numbers were derived," the USGS said in a statement.
The USGS’s models indicate that the probability should fall closer to an 85 per cent chance.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.