San Andres Fault
Potentially dangerous apartments on sale on top of the fault
What could happen?
If you are considering buying an apartment in the area around the fault you should look into what the possible affects of what could occur. The earthquakes that continuessly happen along the fault could have many serious impacts. If the house is not built to withstand a certain magnitude pf earthquakes then it could quite possibly cause damage or destroy the house all together. Knowing this you can also infer that it can cause many possibly injuries and deaths if someone where to be in the house when the earthquake happens.
San Andreas fault in the Carrizo Plain, central California
Photo by Robert E. Wallace
This photo explains where the slips occur on the fault and where earthquakes above a certain magnitude also happen.
What happens to cause these earthquakes along the Fault?
Think Before Buying
What happens in these areas to cause these earthquakes is the moving of the plates along the fault. According to Schulz and Wallace, The Pacific Plate (on the west) moves northwestward relative to the North American Plate (on the east), causing earthquakes along the fault. The San Andreas is the "master" fault of an intricate fault network that cuts through rocks of the California coastal region.” Which shows that the plates moving against each other on the fault is causing these earthquakes that could potentially cause these dangerous but unknown situations in the housing market. If you still want a home in that area then there are a few things you could look a home to ensure a bit more safety. Wallace and Schulz state, "Three major lines of defense against earthquake hazards are being developed. Buildings in earthquake-prone areas should be designed and constructed to resist earthquake shaking. Building codes that require attention to earthquake shaking have been improving in recent decades and constitute a first line of defense. In some cities, programs are underway to strengthen or tear down older buildings most likely to collapse during earthquakes. A second line of defense involves the selective use of land to minimize the effects of hazardous ground. High- occupancy or critical structures, for example, should not be placed astride the San Andreas fault or on landslide-prone areas. The third line of defense will be the accurate prediction of earthquakes. When such prediction becomes possible, it will permit timely evacuation of the most hazardous buildings. A major program aimed at learning how to predict earthquakes and to assess and minimize their hazards was initiated following the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 and is being carried out by the U.S. Geological Survey, other Federal Agencies, universities, and private groups.”. These steps that are being taken could make a huge difference in the damage that is caused by these earthquakes. Think before buying because it could quite possibly be the difference between life and death.