Disputed NASA Study Finds 99.9 Percent Chance LA Will Soon Face Major Earthquake

Are you ready for the big one, Southern California? According to a new study from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, there’s a 99.9 percent chance the Los Angeles area will experience an earthquake of 5.0 magnitude or greater in the next 2 1/2 years. But not all scientists are on board with the prediction.

The study, published Tuesday in the the journal Earth and Space Science after first being published online last month, studied the potential for an earthquake in the area based on the behavior of the 5.1-magnitude La Habra quake in March 2014, which centered between the Whittier and Puente Hills Faults in the Los Angeles Basin.

“If you think of pulling on a rubber band, you stretch it and stretch it, and if you pull on it hard enough, it’s going to break,” NASA geophysicist Andrea Donnellan, the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post, comparing the rubber band to the earth’s crust. “The earthquakes are the breaking rubber band. So what we did in this study is we showed what stored potential was still in the northeast LA basin and northern Orange County.”

That potential, the study found, amounts to an earthquake between magnitude 6.1 and 6.3 happening at some point in the future.

“We’re missing an earthquake,” Donnellan said.

The part of the study that’s catching everyone’s attention is the prediction that there’s a 99.9 percent chance of an earthquake magnitude 5.0 or greater occurring within a 100-kilometer radius of the La Habra quake’s epicenter by April 2018. The research also found a 35 percent chance of at least a 6.0 magnitude quake striking within the same boundaries in that time period.

That shouldn’t surprise Los Angeles residents, Donnellan said.

“If you look at the statistics of earthquakes, there have been 32 earthquakes in the last —> Read More