3-D animations of California earthquakes are available from US Geological Survey

Fourteen 3-D animations of a Magnitude 7.8 California earthquake scenario are now available at the US Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake web site and can be downloaded in high definition format. Used for the state’s extensive emergency response exercise in November, they show how intensely the ground would shake and shift in several Southern California locations during a very strong earthquake with an epicentre on the southern end of the San Andreas Fault.

This year also marked the 140th anniversary of the 1868 Hayward earthquake in California, and catastrophe modeller Risk Management Solutions (RMS) has concluded that based on San Francisco Bay Area's 2008 population and property exposures, a similar earthquake today would result in economic losses of between $112-$122 billion, of which $11-13 billion would be insured.

The study, conducted in collaboration with research seismologists led by USGS, also revealed that a Magnitude 7.0 earthquake rupturing the entire length of the Hayward Fault would result in economic losses between $210-$235 billion, of which no more than $30 billion are likely to be insured.