Don’t Forget the Big California Quake

While we’re focused on Hurricane Frances, let’s not forget California:

A team at the University of California at Los Angeles startled Californians and the wider scientific world in January by predicting there was 50-50 chance of a 6.4 magnitude or larger quake hitting a 12,000-square-mile (30,000-square-kilometer) mostly desert area east of Los Angeles by Sept. 5.

They used an algorithm, or mathematical pattern recognition formula, developed by team member Professor Vladimir Keilis-Borok that had already successfully forecast a 6.5 temblor in central California in December 2003 and the 8.1 magnitude quake that struck the Japanese island of Hokkaido in September last year.

What a blow that would be–getting hammered on two coasts at the same time. Let’s hope somebody on the quake team forgot to carry a 1 or something.

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