How Science Helps Communities
Prepare for and Survive Earthquakes
Earthquakes are far more than just
geological phenomena—they can greatly alter the way people live by damaging
A new USGS video production, “The
Great Southern California ShakeOut: An Earthquake Scenario Based On Science,"
shows how science is used by government agencies, emergency responders,
policymakers and the public to help build safer communities. It is based
on the USGS ShakeOut Scenario, the scientific foundation for the Great
Southern California ShakeOut, a region-wide earthquake drill conducted
on November 13, 2008.
“When I gaze out my window, I
realize that every building, every high-rise I can see from the 15th floor
here in city hall in Los Angeles, will be impacted by this catastrophic
earthquake,” said Jim Featherstone, General Manager, City of Los Angeles
Emergency Management Department, in an interview in the video, referring
to the theoretical magnitude 7.8 earthquake that is part of the ShakeOut
Scenario. “The science of the Great ShakeOut has allowed me to bring that
Other interview subjects include
the USGS, the Office of Homeland Security, the County of Riverside, the
California Governor's Office, the East Valley Water District, the Art Center
College of Design, the County of San Bernardino, and a professor emeritus
from Colorado State University.
In addition to interviews, this
video also discusses how such an earthquake would affect downtown Los Angeles
and the San Andreas Fault-crossing Cajon Pass, a narrow corridor through
the San Gabriel Mountains known as an important "lifeline corridor"
where roads, railroads, water and energy pipelines, and electrical and
communications infrastructure provide service to millions of residences,
businesses, commuters and communities in Southern California.
You can view this video in episode
75 of CoreCast at www.usgs.gov/corecast.
More information about the Great Southern California ShakeOut can be found
Learn more about the USGS’s role in the Great ShakeOut at www.usgs.gov/shakeout.
The USGS provides science for a
changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.
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