Seismologist discusses impact of earthquakes


BERKELEY (KRON) – A seismogram of the last four days in Ridgecrest, California has been reviewed by Doctor Peggy Hellweg. 

Hellweg is a seismologist and operations manager of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory at UC Berkeley. 

“I don’t expect this earthquake in Southern California to trigger anything big enough in the Bay Area to be something that we worry about, but having said that, we could have an earthquake at anytime,” Hellweg. 

Doctor Hellweg points out that as unpredictable as earthquakes are, you can still prepare for them.

“What is my earthquake plan? How am I going to survive for three days or a week when no earthquake happens. I just traveled across the country in our camper van, and we’re going to fill it up with water again, and propane gas, so if necessary, we can live in our camper van for several days after the earthquake and still have everything that we need,” Hellweg said. 

Hellweg says shake-alert, the experimental earthquake early warning system sponsored by the United States Geological Survey worked, in that the data registered the seismic activity before the big quakes. 

She says getting that information out to the public is the next step in improving the system.

“I understand that it’s concerning not to know when the next earthquake is going to happen, but in principal, everytime you cross the street, the same thing could happen. You could be hit by a car that you’re not expecting to hit you,” Hellweg said. 

What you can control is your vigilance and attention to detail before the big one hits.

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