Economic Impact of a 7.8 magnitude Earthquake in Southern California could be devastating

Employers in Shaking Intensity Zones for a hypothetical magnitude 7.8 Earthquake on<br />
the southern San Andreas Fault -

(Best Syndication News) - The US Geological Survey (USGS) said that Southern California’s San Andreas Fault is overdue for a large 7.8 magnitude earthquake. USGS researchers have worked up ‘The ShakeOut Scenario’ to plan what kind of damage could occur in Southern California when the large magnitude earthquake lets loose along the San Andreas Fault line. Seven counties could suffer damage and economic loss from this big earthquake. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on the financial impact this potential earthquake could do to the economy of Southern California.

According to BLS, there are 621,000 business establishments and around 6.3 million employees that generate $303.3 billion in annual payroll in the seven Southern California counties. The USGS ShakeOut data was combined with the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data to determine the economic impact of this natural disaster. The BLS said that the Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties are the most exposed regions for having the highest risk for the most severe earthquake damage. The three counties have a population of 17 million.

The BLS reported that Los Angeles County had the highest economic damage potential with 98,290 businesses located in a very strong shaking zone and 188,750 businesses in located in the most severe and destructive shaking zones. Around 1,692,700 employees in Los Angeles County work at businesses in the most destructive shaking zone.

Orange County had the second highest number of employees that could be affected from the earthquake. The BLS said that 13,600 businesses are in the strong shaking zone, and 54,570 businesses are in the most severe destructive shaking zone. Around 812,300 employees work for businesses in Orange County that are located in the most destructive shaking zone.
The next hardest hit for economic disruptions is San Bernardino County. There are 560 businesses located in very strong shaking zones, and 42,620 business in the most severe and destructive shaking zone. Approximately 507,300 employees work at businesses in the most destructive shaking zones.

In the seven Southern California Counties, around 1,213,400 employees work at business in the very strong shaking zones. In the most destructive shaking zones throughout the seven counties, around 3,323,100 employees work at these at risk businesses.

The BLS said that these are just estimates, but suggest that businesses take “preventative actions to mitigate the potential losses from and earthquake.”

To entire BLS PDF report on economic impact of a 7.8 magnitude San Andreas Major Earthquake is available at

BY: N Wilson

other information

ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario Shaking Simulation YouTube Video



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