Earthquake Expert Warns Massive San Andreas Quake Will Happen Someday

As the movie 'San Andreas' hits theaters, could a massive earthquake hit California?

It's the big one! A massive earthquake on the West Coast leaves Los Angeles and San Francisco in ruins. The Hollywood sign falls. The Golden Gate Bridge is engulfed by a tsunami.

It's all from San Andreas, the summer blockbuster that depicts the worst natural disaster in history.

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San Andreas star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson arrived at the L.A. premiere Tuesday night in fittingly epic fashion on a fire truck.

But could the disastrous events depicted in San Andreas really happen?

Caltech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones says a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault will happen someday. She showed INSIDE EDITION a high-tech computer simulation of a huge earthquake rippling along the West Coast.

She said, “The earthquake is absolutely inevitable. This shows you the San Andreas Fault. So it's an earthquake that begins here and ruptures up the fault. It takes about 100 seconds for that to happen. Then, the waves continue to travel out so this would go on for several minutes.”

But she says no earthquake in California could be felt on the East Coast or reach the destructive power depicted in the movie.

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She said, “In the movie a 7.1 in Nevada triggers a 9.1 in Los Angeles which triggers a 9.6 in San Francisco. Those numbers, the 9’s, are impossible.”

And that terrifying tsunami? Pure fiction according to Dr. Jones.

“We are not going to have a tsunami. The San Andreas is on land it moves sideways. To create a tsunami you need a fault underwater that pushes one side up over the other,” she said.

But a massive earthquake in California would still cause widespread destruction and loss of life.

She said, “Our estimate is actually 1,500 collapsed buildings in a big San Andreas earthquake but most of those are older buildings, brick and concrete. To see it in a steel framed high rise is possible but not a lot of them.”

Dwayne Johnson says the takeaway from San Andreas should be one of preparedness.

He told INSIDE EDITION, “We got to live our life and be as prepared as we possibly can and educate as much as we possibly can and I think we did a little bit of that in the movie.”

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