San Andreas: The Next Megaquake

Main Plot Points:
  • The West Coast of America has long been ready for ‘The Big One’: the moment when the San Andreas Fault springs to life. But what if defenses have been pointing in the wrong direction?
  • What if a far bigger earthquake is on its way – one that could submerge Vancouver and destroy Seattle and Portland by unleashing a string of re-ignited volcanoes, landslides and tsunamis?
  • Welcome to the world of the ‘megathrust’ quake – ten times bigger than anything San Andreas can deliver. Have the beginnings of a tremor already begun?

What We Thought:

  • Watching San Andreas: The Next Megaquake is almost like watching the news lately with 2 massive earthquakes hitting Nepal over the last few weeks.
  • Earth Science has always been an interest of mine, so I looked past the DVD cover art that made this documentary look like a Roland Emmerich movie and tried to learn things I never knew about earthquakes.
  • Some scientists have said that a “megathrust” earthquake could occur on the San Andreas Fault just off the west coast of the United States, and this documentary presents the historical evidence of such earthquakes and tsunamis that have occurred throughout recorded history in the Pacific Ocean.
  • There are historical accounts of Japanese tsunamis from hundreds of years ago, and are suspected to have come from Cascadia, the region in the Northwest region of North America around the year 1700.
  • I seriously was just thinking to myself this morning about why a 7.8 earthquake on the Richter scale could be exponentially more damaging than a 7.3 earthquake, and a geologist from the Washington State Geological Survey explains the logarithmic Richter scale and how earthquake intensity is measured.
  • But are major cities in this region such as Seattle at risk? Will skyscrapers in a high-rise city be able to survive a megathrust earthquake? Expects say that there’s no way for us to properly test buildings for this type of event but that given what current building code is even in regions where earthquakes are common, we’re probably not well prepared for a major earthquake event coming from the San Andreas Faultline.
  • Also, this doc gives a good explanation about how tsunamis are created following an earthquake and what kind of warning different regions would get based on where the earthquake occurred.
  • For many reasons, I really enjoyed this documentary that’s a tight 50 minutes in length, but it moves along fairly quickly and never ends up being boring.

Special Features:

  • None

Notable Cast & Crew:

  • No one notable

Recommended if You Like:

  • Earth Science documentaries

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