California. Over the course of several weeks, we have been witnessing swarms of earthquakes in the "Golden State," as well as in Nevada, next door. On March 4th at about 9:15 AM, a mysterious shaking rattled homes and nerves in Central California. No earthquake was registered on any of the U.S. Geological Survey reporting equipment either, but over 70 calls came in to 911 reporting the rattling. What's more, 12 hours earlier, residents in Orange County felt a similar rattling.
In mid-March, there was a collapse of over 120 feet of a California highway into the Pacific Ocean. This was followed by a powerful winter storm in northern California that unleashed a strong tornado that tore the roof off a business and bringing heavy snow to the Sierra Nevada that was blamed for a fatal chain-reaction crash on Interstate 80, 70 miles east of Sacramento involved at least six big rigs and nearly 40 vehicles overall. Several days later, a slide of land about 200 yards long and 100 yards deep moved downhill about 100 feet on a ranch near the small town of Somis in Ventura County in California forcing the evacuation of a residence and several horses. On March 22, a massive landslide in Scotts Valley blocked access to an entire neighborhood and left many residents without power for days.
In mid-April, massive amounts of dead fish was found floating on the surface of the southwest corner of the Ventura Harbor. Officials are still trying to determine what caused thousands of sardines to turn up dead after apparently using up all their oxygen. An incident that came about six weeks after millions of sardines died in Redondo Beach after swimming en masse into King Harbor and suffocating. In a massive cleanup, where workers removed about 175 tons of fish carcasses that floated in the marina and began to rot underwater. On the 21st, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake shook the southern end of the Coachella Valley in Baja, California. Centred 20 miles south of the border city of Mexicali, near Guadalupe Victoria and 86 miles from Tijuana. The quake had a depth of 5.3 kilometres or 3.3 miles and was located at 32.365°N, 115.550°W. At the time of writing, there have been 11 earthquakes in the area within a time frame of approximately three hours from 3:50am to 6:56am, according to the USGS and the California Integrated Seismic Net. A day later, dead dolphins washed up the beaches of Malibu. " Most have washed ashore from Malibu to Newport Beach, including recent strandings at Rat Beach, Manhattan Beach and here in Hermosa Beach. Peter Wallerstein from the Marine Animal Rescue Team found a sick dolphin washed ashore next door in Manhattan Beach last weekend. "When I got there, there were at least 100 people that had surrounded the sick animal," he said. "Kids were screaming, people were pulling the dolphin's flippers and others were poking at it while it was having seizures." The same day, at least a dozen leopard sharks was found dead or dying in bayfront lagoons in Redwood City, putting local researchers on alert for some kind of infection or toxic discharge in San Francisco Bay. "In the last decade, we've seen an increase in the animals trapped in culverts and pumps that used to be tidal canals or poisoned by periodic pollution events," said Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.
Yesterday, a dead sea lion washed ashore on Hermosa Beach, one of at least 10 sick sea lions have been recovered in Hermosa Beach this month, according to Marine Animal Rescue.
A dead sea lion washed onto the beach just north of the Hermosa Beach Pier on Saturday morning—the animal is one of dozens that have been found sick or dead in Southern California this month. Hermosa Beach Animal Control has notified the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, officials told Patch, and maintenance crews will recover the sea mammal. Marine animals—sea lions, dolphins, fish and even some birds—have been found ill or dead recently due to a neurotoxin in local ocean waters called domoic acid. "It's obvious from the stress on their face and behavior and having seizures on the beach, it’s all domoic acid," said Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Animal Rescue, on Saturday morning. "The pregnant sea lions are hard ones to watch, and the pups inside of them don’t fare very well." Wallerstein's rescue team has seen 10 sick sea lions in Hermosa Beach out of the 82 animals they've rescued along the Southern California coastline in April, he said. His team has also rescued eight dolphins in the past two weeks. "The alarming thing is the ones we see on the beach are just a tip of the iceberg," Wallerstein said. "Some may have died and never made it to the beach." Domoic acid, which is found in algae blooms along the California coast, causes grand mal seizures, brain damage, and even partial paralysis in larger animals that feed on fish or shellfish that have ingested the substance. The toxin's potency is increased by pollution, such as fertilizers or urban runoff, that washes out to sea, Wallerstein said. His team has seen the impact that domoic acid can have on local marine life "every year for the past seven years, probably before that," he said. "But the numbers have increased really from 2003 on. Some years it’s stronger than others. This year it’s a very potent bloom. It’s called pseudo-nitzschia, and it can bloom non-toxic substance or bloom the nuerotoxin domoic acid." Wallerstein has found that the blooms and their effects usually last about one month or so and then subside. – Hermosa Beach Patch.Are these events, incidental or are they part of a pattern? What is that pattern and what's next?
What's next, maybe this: according to the Daily Mail, researchers are now worried that the United States will experience a "megathrust" earthquake that will trigger a monster tsunami and decimate unprepared cities along the American north-west coast.
|Possible scenario of how a huge 'megathrust' earthquake could hit America.|
The north-west coast of the U.S. could be devastated by a huge movement of undersea plates known as a ‘megathrust’ earthquake, scientists say. A review of the dangers posed by the Juan de Fuca plate released in the wake of the Japanese quake has raised fears that the Pacific seaboard could be similarly ravaged. The horrifying possibilities have been brought to light by data researched by the Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping Laboratory at Oregon State University. And the results are shown in a documentary, Megaquake: The Hour That Shook Japan, which is set to go out on the Discovery Channel in the UK this weekend. The huge March 11 earthquake that sparked the tsunami off the coast of Japan may have been a ‘megathrust’ quake and now researchers fear the Cascadia fault line 50 miles off the U.S. coast could rupture and cause a quake and subsequent tsunami. The average time along that fault between massive quakes above magnitude 8 is 240 years, said The Times, and the last 'megaquake' was just over 300 years ago. 'Megathrusts' are the world's largest earthquakes, and happen in a 'subduction zone', a region where one of the earth's tectonic plates is thrust under another. The last one involving Cascadia was estimated at magnitude 9 on the Richter scale, according to Natural Resources Canada. The Juan de Fuca plate is being forced under the North America plate along the Cascadia fault and, as large parts of the plates are locked together, stress is being built up until an eventual breakage causes a massive earthquake. Professor Chris Goldfinger, director of the Laboratory at Oregon State University, told the newspaper that their information showed an increase in pressure at the plates: 'It's loading a spring for a future earthquake, there's no doubt about that.' And geologist Jeffrey Park, director of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, said in a recent - separate - article: 'History tells us that more megathrust earthquakes could occur in the next decade, but we have no evidence that the recent rate of nearly one megathrust per year will persist for longer than that.' Cascadia, which stretches from Vancouver island to northern California, has been dormant for over 300 years but scientists now believe there is a 45 per cent probability of an earthquake of an 8.0 magnitude or higher in the next 50 years. They add there is a 15 per cent chance of magnitude 9 or more. Such a quake could produce a massive tsunami and engulf the Pacific Northwest coast, affecting Oregon, Washington state and Vancouver Island, according to The Times, with a tsunami with waves of up to 30metres high and potentially reaching Japan. The threat is all the more serious as several cities in the north-west of the U.S. are not adequately prepared for the type of devastation a ‘megathrust’ quake could wreak.Is America next?