Western Quakery

From L.A. to Seattle, the West Coast is even shakier than expected

RELATIVELY FEW PEOPLE WERE JOLTED BY THE TWIN earthquakes that struck the sparsely populated Southern California desert last June. A lot more may be shaken, though, by a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies. While the Landers and Big Bear quakes (respectively 7.5 and 6.6 on the Richter scale) did little damage, they evidently added stress to the system of underground faults that honeycombs that part of the state. As a result, chances of another big quake have quadrupled, with nearly 1-in-2 odds that one will hit within five years. And next time it could happen on...

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