California earthquake WARNING: 'Big One is overdue' and LA is 'living on borrowed time'

California is “overdue” a catastrophic earthquake unlike any seismic activity seen in recent years. Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, a professor at the City College of New York, has warned in an unearthed TV interview the earthquake is coming. Appearing on CBS This Morning, Dr Kaku said California could be overdue a major quake by some 60 years. The earthquake risk is now so big, in his estimate, the residents of Los Angeles are “living on borrowed time”.

The scientist said: “Well, before it was all Hocus Pocus and black magic predicting earthquakes.

“I was born in California, 10 miles from the San Andreas Fault, living under the shadow of The Big One.

“Now we can quantify this and we now know the San Andreas Fault is locked, loaded and ready rumble.

“We now realise the people of Los Angeles are living on borrowed time.

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“We now know that by digging into the soil we can go down 1,200 years into the past, looking at soil laid down hundreds of years ago and we find 10 major earthquakes in the last 1,000 years.

“The difference in time is roughly 100 years on average. The last Big One was 160-years-ago, so according to one calculation, we’re 60 years overdue for another Big One.”

The San Andreas Fault is a seismic fault line cutting through the state of California, forming the boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates.

The fault line stretches some 750 miles (1,200km) across and runs under the cities of San Francisco and San Bernardino.

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Many geologists fear The Big One will strike along the San Andreas Fault, leading to an unprecedented loss of life and damage.

The last Big One struck California in 1857, when a magnitude 7.9 cataclysm hit the San Andreas Fault.

The California earthquake struck across parts of central and southern California, rupturing a 225-mile-long (250km) stretch of the fault.

Buildings destroyed by the quake’s epicentre in Fort Tejon, were found as far as 20 miles (32km) out.

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Dr Kaku said: “That was a huge 7.9 earthquake that was so big it actually liquified the soil north of Los Angeles, like halfway between Bakersfield and LA.”

And the expert said some of the tremors felt during the earthquake lasted up to three minutes at a time.

He said: “So we’re not talking about just a few seconds like maybe in a Northridge-type earthquake, we’re talking about an earthquake that lasts for minutes and also the US Geological Survey did an estimate of property damage.

“What could happen if the 1857 earthquake happens today – the numbers are frightening.

“$200billion in property damage – that’s billion with a B – 50,000 people injured and five major skyscrapers toppled because of a gigantic earthquake, a 7.8 in this study.”

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) fears of an imminent Big One earthquake are mostly unfounded.

The agency said: “The paleoseismic data on different parts of the San Andreas Fault Zone are all telling us that some sections appear to be past the average, or ‘overdue’ for a significant earthquake.

“But the data can’t be used to make predictions: we do not understand earthquakes well enough to know exactly where the next earthquake will occur, what the magnitude will be, or exactly when it will happen.”