The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has warned that California’s next big catastrophe might not be a massive earthquake. Instead, they say a massive volcanic eruption could plunge the state into a post-apocalyptic hellscape.
In a report released on Monday, the USGS said that at least 10 volcanic eruptionshave taken place in the past 1,000 years and that “future volcanic eruptions are inevitable.” The USGS has previously said that California in dire need of the monitoring of at least 8 active volcanoes.
USGS claims that most people are well aware of the fact that California could experience a major and deadly earthquake, but the general public is less than concerned about a volcanic eruption. “The potential for damaging earthquakes, landslides, floods, tsunamis, and wildfires is widely recognized in California,” the report said according to Newsweek. “The same cannot be said for volcanic eruptions, despite the fact that they occur in the state about as frequently as the largest earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault.”
The USGS estimated the risk of volcanic eruption based on the past 5,000 years of volcanic activity in California. The report further found that there is a 16 percent chance of a small to moderate-sized eruption over the next 30 years. As reported by Newsweek, by comparison, there is a 22 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake at the San Andreas Fault in the San Francisco Bay Area in the next 25 years.
Although one cannot stop a volcano from erupting, preparations can be made just in case this inevitable event happens on our watch. The potentially hazardous volcanoes in California are being monitored closely for any changes that indicate an eruption could be on the way, but that may not give those in surrounding communities much time to get awat from the hazard. Americans by and large have long lost their willingness to prepare for cataclysmic events and natural disasters.