Half of America at risk from earthquakes

Half of America at risk from earthquakes
Credit: Reuters

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - We know that certain areas like California, Alaska and Oklahoma deal with earthquakes every year. But a new study released by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that nearly half the population could see strong earthquakes.

About 46 percent of the country's population could see devastating earthquakes causing damage or even death. 143 million people out of the country's 313 million could see one of these earthquakes soon. Alaska and Hawaii were not included in this survey, but when added to the numbers, the total percent would then be over 50 percent of the population.


Credit: United States Geological Survey 

This new survey is a major increase from the last survey done when looking at earthquakes. In 2006, it was estimated that 75 million people were at risk from a major earthquake. This means that in nine years over 68 million people were added to the earthquake prone areas. The main increase is from a large amount of people moving to regions where earthquakes are more likely to happen.

Not everyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area will see massive destruction if an earthquake hits, this study is suggesting that nearly half the population could experience some strength of a tremor any day. California, Washington, Utah, Tennessee and Oregon were the top five state with the highest percent of the state's population in a high earthquake prove region.

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