News that the Hayward fault could produce a major earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area "any day now" is overblown, says a geophysicist after a WPIX-TV story
suggesting as such went viral earlier this week.
Tom Brocher, of the U.S. Geological Society, claimed that the television story took him out of context on Tuesday after a 4.0 magnitude earthquake along the Hayward fault rattled the Fremont, California area, according to SFGate.com
The WPIX-TV story, picked up by the syndication service Bay City News, quoted Brocher as saying a major earthquake is expected on the fault "any day now."
"The past five major earthquakes on the fault have been about 140 years apart, and now we're 147 years from that 1868 earthquake, so we definitely feel that could happen any time," said Brocher, according to WPIX-TV.
Brocher told SFGate.com on Thursday, though, that USGS has no evidence that such a major earthquake is on the horizon.
"The Hayward fault is capable of producing a major earthquake at any time, but there is currently no scientific basis for making a prediction for when that earthquake will occur," said Brocher.
"The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast model gives a 31 percent probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger event in the next 30 years on the Hayward-Rodgers Creek fault system," Brocher added.
The "any day now" comment created a huge buzz on social media over the past couple of days.
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