Major Quake Could Send Shock To Businesses
Sep. 17, 2007 (KGO) (KGO) -- Location, location, location. We're not talking real estate but earthquakes -- and which areas are most likely to be hit the hardest.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report today on the risks of a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the Hayward Fault and the impact it will have on your job. In Alameda County alone, an earthquake that strong would affect 90 percent of businesses.
The owners of East Bay Vivariam in Berkeley learned their lesson on earthquake preparedness from the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake.
"Everything came flying off the shelves if it didn't come collapsing onto itself," said John Emberton, East Bay Vivariam.
They lost thousands of reptiles. But now every animal cage is strapped together. Some units are attached to the walls. Others have wheels, so instead of tipping over, they roll.
"Down our hallway we have a bunch of stored water jugs, five gallon jugs so if we lose our water we can continue to service the animals so we have that covered. We have a generator," said John Emberton.
But many East Bay businesses are not prepared. A new Labor Bureau report found that if a large quake were to hit, the shakiest area of alameda county alone would see 90 percent of businesses affected. More than 600,000 jobs would be jeopardized.
"That could spill over very easily into the silicon valley as you pointed out and other parts of California," said Richard Holden, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why the Hayward fault? Seismologists believe that's where the next major earthquake will occur.
The reason: the past five large earthquakes on the Hayward fault have occurred on average every 140 years. The last major earthquake along the Hayward fault happened in 1868.
"So 1868 plus 140 years we think an earthquake on the Hayward fault could happen tomorrow," said Keith Knudsen, California Geological Survey.
With the help of seismologists, the U.S. Bureau of Labor took the areas most likely to shake along the Hayward fault and pinpointed where most businesses and residents were located.
"So the areas that are close to the fault on soft soils, they will be shaking severely," said Keith Knudsen, California Geological Survey.
Tom Brocher is with the U.S. Geological Survey. He estimates 400,000 people will be left homeless.
"Now most of those people are going to find somewhere to live with a friend or relative but 100 thousand people are going to need shelter," said Tom Brocher, U.S. Geological Survey.
Today's report coincides with earthquake preparedness month.
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