JUNE 2008.

Scientists unveiled a hypothetical scenario describing how a magnitude 7.8 Southern California earthquake–similar to the recent earthquake in China–would impact the region, causing loss of lives and massive damage to infrastructure, including critical transportation, power, and water systems. Keith Porter led the overall assessment of physical damages, while Charles Scawthorn performed the analysis of fire following earthquake. In the scenario, the earthquake kills 1800 people, injures 50,000, causes $200 billion in damage, and has long-lasting social and economic consequences. One-third of the economic loss is attributable to fire following earthquake, another third to shake-related property loss and most of the rest to indirect losses associated with the interruption of water supply. Fatalities are approximately equally attributable to fire and shake-related damage. This is the most comprehensive analysis ever of what a major Southern California earthquake would mean, and is the scientific framework for what was the largest earthquake preparedness drill in California history, on November 13, 2008. More than 5 million people participated, including businesses, schools, numerous government agencies, and private citizens. Further information can be found here. SPA’s analysis of fire following earthquake can be found here. Contact us for a private briefing on what your organization can learn from the ShakeOut scenario and how you can better prepare for the Big One.