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California Earthquake Forecast 2009

Posted by feww on March 24, 2009

Magnitude 7.4 earthquake could strike California in 2009

FEWW Forecasts a magnitude 7.4 earthquake and two strong aftershocks (5.5+ Mw) striking California in 2009 with a probability of 0.8. The occurrence uncertainty is about 90 days from the estimated time. The epicenter is located in a built-up area.

Moderators are currently discussing the merits of disclosing further details of the event too early ahead of the forecast seismicity.

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42 Responses to “California Earthquake Forecast 2009”

  1. Mario said

    I would love to speak with a few seismologists and tell them some of my ideas on how to better map, and possibly predict earthquakes. Of course, this would entail quite a lot of already available technology coming together. In California, homes should eventually have an earthquake “safe” room, or area, or ??? Skyscrapers should have bungicorded sacks, or something, just in case people get trapped. They can come down on every side of the building. The cords would be fastened to an interior structure, and come out, like the glass encased fire hoses, when there is an emergency.

  2. feww said

    California Earthquake Forecast – Update 3

  3. feww said

    Other threads on “California Earthquake Forecast 2009” are at:


  4. Nation said

    what is a built-up area? Thank you

    • feww said

      Will provide more details by end of next week.

      • Miriam said


        Can you provide the approximate location of the epicenter? We are getting close to the date…just few more weeks.

        Thank you.


        • feww said

          Will post more information soon. Bearing in mind the probability of event occurrence is somewhat more erratic and conditional.
          What we can tell you with 99.99% certainty is that a city near you would collapse possibly in the near future (in three years or so), but that’s not necessarily EQ related.
          See: The First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities

          Good luck.

          • Miriam said

            A city near me will collapse in the next 3 years? So how would you know where I am located?

            Anyway, would like to see your mathematical model and more precise data. Give us some scientific analysis.


  5. feww said

    Hi Ellie – Want to look for someplace safe? Are you afraid? You’re right to be.

    Statistically speaking, however, there are many orders of magnitude more people killed and injured as a result of man-made disasters like wars, preventable lifestyle diseases like cancer, environmental pollution, SMOKING, infectious disease epidemics, driving accidents … than those perished in earthquakes.

    Will post the estimated locations of the forecasts EQs in the next few weeks; but unless there’s 100 percent certainty about the location of the epicenter and the magnitude, it would be difficult to help prepare you for one.

    But this is a perfect opportunity now, time to reflect on what you have done for Earth, and what you expect from her.

  6. Ellie Banuelos said

    Just a question: I live in Tijuana. Is there any preparation method that we can follow?

  7. alex said

    What method do you use to create all those forecasts ? Is there a scientific foundation for the forecasts you do ?

  8. feww said

    California Earthquake Forecast – Update 2

    • K said

      Recently there was an article on regarding the tsunami risk for the west coast. Would any of these forecasted earthquakes either the CA one or the subsequent West Coast ones be in areas where they might produce tsunamis?

      • feww said

        We believe the first event will occur on-shore, with near zero probability of a tsunami resulting.

        As for the recent additions, while the momentum energies have been accounted for [within the stated probability parameters] the estimated location are less certain.

        Will post more information on the blog, when we have more reliable readings. [AND could do so without causing unnecessary anxiety.]

        Please note that our forecasts do NOT preclude the possibility of other significant seismic activity in Calif/ West Coast [that we haven’t accounted for] at any time.

  9. skip said

    Is there an EQ forecast for the east coast, namely New York area in 2009/2010?

    • feww said

      Is this a random out of the blue question?

      FEWW preliminary estimates show a possible catastrophic earthquake (magnitude 8.2+) for the New York area in early 2010. Will post the findings, if the results can be reproduced.

  10. feww said

    California Earthquake Forecast 2009 – UPDATE

    Based on the recent seismic activity in the Gulf of California, FEWW Moderators revise their forecast for California earthquakes in 2009 as follows:

    (i) A magnitude 7.4 earthquake and two strong aftershocks (5.5+ Mw) could strike California in 2009 with a probability of 0.9 (88%).

    (ii) The estimated time of occurrence: September 28, 2009

    (iii) The occurrence uncertainty: ~ +90 days from the estimated date.

    (iv) The epicenter is believed to be located in a built-up area.

    (v) In addition to the above event, two other powerful earthquakes could strike the western United States in 2009 (Probability of occurrence 77% and 64% for one event and both events respectively).

    • Matt said

      I wounder if there is any information concerning a “collective consciousness” about this event? Meaning, there seems to be a lot of buzz lately on the web concerning Californian earthquakes.

      • feww said

        Not sure what you mean by “collective consciousness.” FEWW uses an advanced mathematical model [with a pinch of geophysics and other “earth sciences” thrown in] called ‘EarthModel’ for its forecasts.

        Don’t believe anyone else has anything like ‘EarthModel,’ or similar earthquake (and volcanic) forecast capabilities. If there’s a buzz about Californian earthquakes elsewhere, it hasn’t reached us.

  11. […] interesting to note, as our colleague TERRES earlier pointed out, the local experts had assured New Zealanders that “there was no cause for worry.”  […]

  12. terres said

    Earthquake Details
    Magnitude 5.1

    * Friday, July 10, 2009 at 00:31:27 UTC
    * Thursday, July 09, 2009 at 03:31:27 PM at epicenter
    * Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location 44.550°N, 129.827°W
    Depth 26.6 km (16.5 miles)

    * 455 km (283 miles) W (275°) from Yachats, OR
    * 457 km (284 miles) W (268°) from Depoe Bay, OR
    * 457 km (284 miles) W (271°) from Newport, OR
    * 537 km (334 miles) W (278°) from Eugene, OR
    * 575 km (357 miles) W (262°) from Portland, OR

    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 10 km (6.2 miles); depth +/- 4.8 km (3.0 miles)
    Parameters NST=131, Nph=133, Dmin=480.9 km, Rmss=1.39 sec, Gp=162°,
    M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=6


    Event ID us2009ixag

  13. acameron said

    “Its better to be prepared and wrong then to be cynical and dead.” Quote from acameron.

  14. acameron said

    I live in califorina. This is the first I have ever seen of this site. I wish I had found it sooner. [edited] will have our big earthquake. [edited] Good indicators
    #1 agencys like CIA and others give family special passes for emergency evac of cali.
    #2 usgs starts making warnings and predictions about huge loss and then says but dont panic.
    #3 large companies start moving whole locations out of california. yeah I know its very random what I just said but it will have to do.

  15. feww said

    Strong earthquake struck GULF OF CALIFORNIA. A 5.4 preshock preceded the mainshock, which was followed by two aftershocks measuring 4.8 and 4.3 Mw.

    Magnitude: 6.0
    Date-Time: Friday, July 03, 2009 at 11:00:18 UTC [Friday, July 03, 2009 at 05:00:18 AM at epicenter}
    Location: 25.465°N, 109.638°W
    Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
    + 68 km (42 miles) SW (224°) from Ahome, Sinaloa, Mexico
    + 75 km (47 miles) WSW (243°) from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
    + 87 km (54 miles) WSW (249°) from Juan José Ríos, Sinaloa, Mexico
    + 1064 km (661 miles) SE (136°) from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

    Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 9.3 km (5.8 miles); depth fixed by location program
    Parameters: NST=145, Nph=145, Dmin=767.4 km, Rmss=1.4 sec, Gp=176°,
    M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
    Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID: us2009iqba

  16. K said

    I was thinking more on the geological impact level.
    Now, is it foreseeable for these tremors to continue increasing in both frequency and size?

    • feww said

      According to the plate tectonics theory, the surface of Earth is broken into large plates [and some smaller ones.] The plates are constantly drifting, though not at a constant rate or direction. As the plates move against each other, their edges come into contact causing geologic activity, such as earthquakes, mountain building and volcanoes.

      Those of us who live close to the edge of these plates experience more seismic activities than others both in frequency, intensity and periodicity, all of which are variables.

      [Earth is an ultra supersophisticated life incubator, among other of its qualities. If the planet was a dead rock, there would be NO seismic activity on it, nor any life!]

  17. K said

    We have recently been experiencing relatively stronger earthquakes in california (as opposed to the usual micros). How does this affect the potential date of October 2009? Does this increase the uncertainty factor or does it move up the potential date?
    Also, now how does North Koreas underground detonation of a nuclear bomb affect the potential of a ripple effect per se…if it does? I mean it would have to right? Does this become a buttefly effect type of scenario?

    • feww said

      The tremors are consistent with the October forecast, and INCREASE the certainty factor according to our model. Will advise if any changes occur.
      As for the North Korean nuclear test, are you thinking about a geological “ripple effect” or a sociopolitical impact?
      The geological impact is almost zero; the effect dissipates and vanishes rather quickly. Any “ripple effect” would by minor and local. A shock large enough to circle the earth, would be in order of Magnitude 10 on Richter scale (~ 1 million megatons, often referred to as a San Andreas type fault circling the earth), or 83,000 more powerful than the blast yield of the nuclear device tested by N. Korea.

  18. Ederash said

    [Couldn’t accurately translate your comment . Please resubmit in English. TERRES]

  19. YoMama said

    [Edited. See Ed Policy.]

    • feww said

      Despite your foul mouth, FEWW Moderators can and have forecast earthquakes, some with 100% accuracy. Search blog content for the entries.

  20. Matt said

    I some what understand the need for this forecast to be handled with care. But can you at lest say if this quake is predicted for the beginning or the last part of 2009?

    • feww said

      The estimated date of occurrence is early October 2009. However, there’s an uncertainty associated with this date.

      • Matt said

        Thank you for the fast response! I will most defiantly add this site to my fav’s and check back often for any new posts on the subject.

        “Wise men plan for what might happen. The unwise plan for nothing at all”.

      • K said

        What is the uncertainty with the date?

        • feww said

          The model cannot predict outcome of each single event [there are many] that combine to produce the main episode—some events hasten time line, while others impede progress to T=0. The enormous complexity involved prevents the two from canceling each other out.

  21. feww said

    It’s political decision, not a ‘scientific’ one.

    We’ve been at this juncture before, and will no doubt revisit it again and again.

    Before the Sichuan earthquake, the Director of the China Earthquake Administration had publicly stated that his organization could predict earthquakes.

    There are two scenarios available to the governments on how to deal with earthquakes. Their SOP seems to be mapped invariably on the second option, judging by the Chinese govt decision on how to play out the aftermath of Sichuan disaster, and their Italian counterpart’s handling of L’Aquila quake.

    Italy must now opt for scenario one, relocating the towns and villages in its seismic belts and hotspots in certain other areas before the next major quake strikes.

    Of course, that will never happen!

  22. italianopinionist said

    Why can’t science at least doubt about earthquakes’ forecast?

    We are used to weather forecast and we often trust them even when they fail. In what respect is Giuliani’s forecast so different?

  23. russell said

    when is the NEXT earthquake striking California in 2009 or 2010 of (7.4 + ??)

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