San Andreas Movie: Would You Be Ready For “The Big One”?

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San Andreas Movie: Would You Be Ready For “The Big One”?

In the upcoming film, “San Andreas,” the dreaded Big One finally strikes California, nearly tearing it apart completely (thankfully, though, The Rock is on hand to save the day). The film, which premieres nationwide on May 29, stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a tough-as-nails helicopter rescue pilot. After a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake hits California, Johnson’s character heads from Los Angeles up to San Francisco to rescue his daughter, played by Alexandra Daddario—and, as expected, things go from bad to worse fairly quickly.

The movie is, of course, pure entertainment, and it should be a fun flick to watch. But is there any validity to the idea of a big earthquake striking along the San Andreas Fault in California? Well, yes and no. The earthquake that hits California in the movie is greatly exaggerated movie magic (and also, an earthquake that strikes along an inland fault would not cause a tsunami to occur, which is what happens in the film), but a sizable earthquake could hit along that fault in the near future, especially in Southern California. According to CNN, tremendous earthquakes happen along the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault roughly every 150 years. The last quake that hit that particular stretch of the fault line in Southern California happened in 1857—so Southern California is probably due for another big one.

San Francisco, however, probably won’t be hit by another San Andreas-based quake anytime soon though, as the famous 1906 earthquake occurred along that fault a little more than a century ago. Other earthquakes may strike along other fault lines in California, which is what happened with the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake that hit Los Angeles in 1994 (the quake actually hit along a fault that was previously unknown).

However, if there’s one thing to take away from the upcoming film, it’s that it’s important to know what to do during an earthquake. As we’ve noted previously, if you’re inside a building during an earthquake, stay away from any objects or items that might fall on you and seek shelter immediately underneath a desk or table. Then, get down on your knees, and cover your head and neck with your hands. If you’re outside, move away from any nearby buildings (debris may fall from theses structures during a quake) and get down on the ground and cover your neck and head with your hands. Having a first aid kit on hand, along with enough food and water to last you for at least three days, is also something important that you can do as part of being prepared for any natural disaster, including earthquakes.

Serious business aside, enjoy “San Andreas” if you decide to see it—it should be a blast!

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