LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Earthquake experts say Southern Californians need to do more to prepare because the San Andreas Fault is long overdue for a major quake.

A computer simulation shown at the National Earthquake Conference this week showed the widespread effect such a large quake that hits the San Andreas Fault could have, reaching from Central California to the Mexican border. Scientists say that long overdue earthquake could be as big as a magnitude 8 that could shake for as long as two minutes.

In such a scenario, experts believe as many as 1,800 people could be killed, 50,000 injured and more than $200 billion caused in damage.

Scientists from around the world have gathered at the Long Beach conference this week to discuss the best ways to retrofit buildings and protect people.

The last big earthquake to happen on the San Andreas Fault was in 1857 when a magnitude-7.9 struck.

The Northridge earthquake that struck in 1994 is the most recent memory of a large quake for most Angelenos, and experts say that the San Andreas Fault scenario being discussed and warned about this week would be about 60 times stronger.

Homeowners, at the very least, should have a fire extinguisher and plenty of bottled water on hand for emergencies.

“However much water you already stored, get some more. Because we’re going to lose all the aqueducts coming into Southern California and we’re going to lose most of the pipes coming into people’s houses,” earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones said.

Visit Earthquake Country Alliance and the US Geological Survey for more tips on how to prepare for an earthquake.

Comments (6)