ShakeOut_CA_GetReady_300x250For those of us who live in inland areas of Southern California, the myth persists that in a strong quake, our homes could end up as beachfront property.

Not so.

According to the Earthquake Country Alliance, the motion of the plates will not make portions of California fall into the ocean. Rather, southwestern California is moving horizontally northward towards Alaska as it slides past central and eastern California.

The dividing point is the San Andreas fault system, which extends from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north. This 800 mile long fault is the boundary between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate. The Pacific Plate is moving to the northwest with respect to the North American Plate at approximately two inches per year (the rate your fingernails grow).

At this rate, Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day (about 15 million years from now) be next-door neighbors, and in an additional 70 million years, Los Angeles residents will find themselves with an Alaska zip code.

To learn more about earthquakes, visit and don’t forget to register for the Great California Shakeout at 10:16 a.m. on Oct. 16.

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