- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2014

A fault that runs beneath the ground of Los Angeles that sent the city on unsteady ground over the weekend could actually be the one that causes the massive earthquake that devastates the entire community, experts warned.

The San Andreas Fault may be better known — but this one, the Puente Hills Fault, that sent shockwaves on Friday actually runs directly beneath downtown Los Angeles and into Hollywood, the blog Newser reported. And it’s capable of delivering a quake that hits a 7.5 on the Richter scale, with the potential of causing $250 billion in damage and killing 18,000, U.S. Geological Survey researchers find, The Associated Press reported.

By comparison, a quake along the San Andreas Fault of even stronger proportions wouldn’t cause so much damage and so many deaths, experts said.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Energy and Environment


A quake along the Puente Hills Fault “would be very damaging to central Los Angeles,” said the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, to CBS. “A earthquake engineer once told me this could be the earthquake from hell.”

He also said that city residents were lucky last Friday when the quake hit, in that nobody was injured. But he also warned that smaller quakes like the one last week are “actually associated with bigger earthquakes” and that more could soon come.