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What is the Earthquake Risk in California

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Home > Earthquake Risk
15,700
Known faults in California
500+
Active faults in California
>99%
Chance of a M6.7+ earthquake within the next 30 years
30
Most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault
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Earthquakes Happen All the Time

California is home to two-thirds of our nation’s earthquake risk

We all know that California is earthquake country. But do you know your local risk? Learn about earthquake faults in your area, and discover the disruptions that could occur after a big quake. 

Learn more about your Local Risk

We all know that California is earthquake country. But do you know your local risk? Learn about earthquake faults in your area, and discover the disruptions that could occur after a big quake. 
Personal Preparedness

Prepare, Survive & Recover

You can’t predict when an earthquake will strike. But you can be prepared for one. Take steps now to prepare—before the next damaging earthquake affects you and your family.

Get Earthquake Ready

Preparing Your House

Preparing Your House

Do you know the importance of seismic retrofitting? Learn about geological risks for houses in California, discover available options, and get resources needed to prepare your older house against earthquake damage.

Learn how to strengthen your house

Do you know the importance of seismic retrofitting? Learn about geological risks for houses in California, discover available options, and get resources needed to prepare your older house against earthquake damage.

Earthquake Risk FAQs

We've gathered some frequently asked questions about earthquake risk to help you understand how an earthquake could affect you. Learn more about your local risk and how to prepare for earthquakes.
Q. What is the risk of a California earthquake?

A. According to the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3) report, in the next 30 years, there is a:

  • More than 99% chance a M6.7 or greater earthquake will strike somewhere in California
  • 75% chance a M7.0 or greater earthquake will strike Southern California
  • 76% chance a M7.0 or greater earthquake will strike Northern California
Q. Is my home at risk from an earthquake?
A. There are thousands of known faults in California, and scientists continue to discover new ones. Since earthquakes can happen anywhere in California, damage to your home and personal property is always possible. Check to see earthquake risk near you and take steps to get prepared!
Q. What fault is California on?
A. The state of California isn’t on any one particular fault, but rather, on thousands of known faults that crisscross the state. Scientists continue to discover new faults all the time.  
Q. Do I still need earthquake insurance if my home isn’t on or near an earthquake fault?
A. Most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault and earthquakes can strike anywhere, at any time—even on previously unknown faults. Even if your home is miles away from a fault or the epicenter of an earthquake, you could still experience damage from an earthquake.
Q. What could the Big One earthquake look like in California?
A. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Big One is a hypothetical southern California 7.8M earthquake modeled to cause 1800 deaths and cause $213 billion in economic losses. 
Recent California Earthquake Activity
M 2.6
9km ENE of Aguanga, CA
Time
Saturday, October 20, 2018
2:14 AM
Location
33.489°N 116.780°W
Depth
2.49 km ( 1.55 mi )

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M 2.6
34km W of Petrolia, CA
Time
Friday, October 19, 2018
11:27 PM
Location
40.367°N 124.687°W
Depth
24.24 km ( 15.06 mi )

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M 2.6
25km W of Hayfork, CA
Time
Friday, October 19, 2018
6:41 PM
Location
40.538°N 123.479°W
Depth
22.74 km ( 14.13 mi )

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M 2.6
5km SW of Gilroy, CA
Time
Thursday, October 18, 2018
10:25 AM
Location
36.968°N 121.607°W
Depth
3.82 km ( 2.37 mi )

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M 2.6
20km NNW of Deep Springs, CA
Time
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
11:28 PM
Location
37.521°N 118.103°W
Depth
2.07 km ( 1.29 mi )

View Details

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