Let Dr. Lucy Jones Soothe Your Big Earthquake Fears
The USGS shows how shock waves from a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the San Andreas Fault would likely fan out across southern California, 2008. (Getty)
Ever since last week's earthquake advisory—issued after several hundred micro earthquakes 'swarmed' at Salton Sea and elevated our chances for a major earthquake along the San Andreas—people have been on edge. And since stories from last week are still being circulated, and the advisory news is still trending on Facebook despite the risk level decreasing significantly, some people are extra confused and panicked.
Don't be, says Dr. Lucy Jones, who has been fielding questions and addressing a lot of concerns on Twitter. You should only be exactly the same amount of confused and panicked that you should be on any other day about "the big one" hitting (which it will eventually!). Below, let Jones slightly soothe any fears you have about "the big one" hitting this week.
Jones was asked earlier today why outlets are still "circulating the (now-diminishing) alert" from last week. "I don't know why it's still news. I study earthquakes, not news media," she retorted. But since it is still in the news, here are a few things you need to as of now, Sunday, October 2nd. (And we recommend skimming through Jones's tweets this past week—she's a real straight shooter!)
RISK WILL BE GONE ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4TH:
OUR RISK LEVEL AT THIS POINT IS ABOUT THE SAME AS EVERY OTHER WEEK:
NO, WE DON'T NEED TO EVACUATE SOCAL:
DID YOUR LOCAL SEISMOLOGIST LEAVE TOWN? DON'T WORRY THEY PROBABLY JUST HAD TO GO TO A WEDDING OR SOMETHING.
.@ia090177 Worry when the seismologists come to town, not leave it. We wouldn't want to miss it! But the reality is the timing is random.— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) October 2, 2016
Even if it happens in your lifetime, your lifetime risk of dying in an earthquake is lower than your lifetime risk of being murdered (1 in 1,000) or your lifetime risk of dying in a traffic accident (1 in 100), Jones pointed out at a recent National Earthquake Conference, according to the L.A. Times. These are all unpredictable ways that a human could die, and they're all pretty much our of your control, so just embrace that the world can turn to complete chaos at any second, be prepared, and forget about it. To help with that, Jones has been pointing her followers to this guide for quick tips prepping your mind and your home in case of an earthquake emergency (tl;dr hide under a table):