Quake professionals gather atop East Bay fault

  • November 21, 2008

By David Goll
San Francisco/East Bay Business Times

During the same week as the 140th anniversary of the last major temblor on the Hayward Fault, more than 200 people who work in earthquake-related jobs are gathering at Cal State East Bay for a conference.

The campus straddles the fault, considered one of the most dangerous in United States because of its presence in a major metropolitan area.

Scientists say it averages a major quake every 140 years and have estimated there is a 30 percent chance of a major quake occurring along the 60-mile fault within the next three decades.

The anniversary of the 1868 Hayward quake - which killed 30 people, caused extensive property damage and is believed to have been between 6.8 and 7.0 on the Richter Scale - is today. The Bay Area, home to about 7 million people today, had a population of only 260,000 140 years ago.

The region's last major quake, the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake centered about 50 miles south of Hayward in the Santa Cruz Mountains, measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale and killed 63 people, injured 3,757 people and left about 12,000 people homeless.

Sponsored by Cal State East Bay, the University of California, Berkeley, the U.S. Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey, URS Corp. (NYSE: URS) and other organizations, the Conference on Earthquake Hazards in the East San Francisco Bay will be held Wednesday through Sunday. It will feature a discussion of technical issues by prominent earthquake experts and an earthquake preparedness fair over the five-day period, as well as a public forum Thursday featuring speakers from the USGS, American Red Cross and Cal State East Bay.


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