Hoax Letter Warns of Impending Quake: USGS

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    An opening in the earth is seen in the San Andreas Rift Zone, the system of depressions in the ground between the parallel faults of the San Andreas earthquake fault, on May 15, 2008 near San Bernardino, California.

    There’s one April Fool's Day prank that officials with U.S. Geological Survey aren’t laughing about.

    A hoax letter is circulating on the Internet claiming Southern California residents should brace themselves for a 7.4 magnitude earthquake.

    USGS issued an official statement on their Facebook page Monday night, warning people about the alert marked with the USGS letterhead:

    What to Do and Not to Do When a Quake Strikes

    [DGO] What to Do and Not to Do When a Quake Strikes
    What's the first thing you should do when an earthquake strikes? San Diego expert Pat Abbott gives two recent examples of the right thing and the wrong thing residents should do.

    “USGS is aware of a letter circulating on the Internet that uses our logo and warns of an impending sizable earthquake in Southern California. USGS had no part in this letter or any alleged alert. USGS does not predict earthquakes. USGS distributes reliable and timely scientific information on earthquakes and makes it all available to the public.”

    Understandably, many California residents are worried about “The Big One” hitting after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck La Habra on Friday and a score of aftershocks followed.

    Expert: CA Overdue for Big Quake

    [DGO]Expert: CA Overdue for Big Quake
    For years, experts have been saying California is overdue for its next big earthquake. One geologist says statistically, the next one will be twice as big and last twice as long as the earthquake on Easter 2010. NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian reports.

    It’s important to note, USGS says it does not predict earthquakes.

    Seismologists did say on Sunday, however, that a magnitude 7.5 earthquake along the same fault line from Friday and Saturday’s quakes could kill 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage.

    USGS advised residents to check its website for information after an earthquake.

    Here's the complete statement from the agency:

    "USGS is aware of a letter circulating on the Internet that uses our logo and warns of an impending sizable earthquake in Southern California. USGS had no part in this letter or any alleged alert. USGS does not predict earthquakes. USGS distributes reliable and timely scientific information on earthquakes and makes it all available to the public. The message of being prepared is always valuable."