Of the many possible disasters that could befall Californians, Golden State residents fear earthquakes the most, according to a recent poll. Statewide, 57 percent of voters cite earthquakes as their greatest threat from nature, more than twice the proportion saying wildfires (23 percent), which is mentioned next most often.
Those fears were followed by tsunami or tidal waves (9 percent), and floods and mudslides (5 percent), the field poll indicated. Of course, fears were influenced by where a voter lived. Earthquake fears were greater in the San Francisco Bay Area (76 percent) and Los Angeles County (66 percent). In other parts of California, earthquakes were mentioned, but fears of wildfire ranked a close second, according to the poll.
The poll, conducted by Field Research Corp. of San Francisco, indicated that Californians believe a major earthquake is more likely to occur in the coming decade than they’ve felt this way in the past. Fifty-six percent of voters now expect an earthquake causing major damage to occur in their area in the next 10 years. Five years ago, only 40 percent of California voters felt that way, the poll indicated.
“Californians are right to worry about the next ‘big one,’” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority. He noted that the U.S. Geological Survey predicts a 99.7 percent chance that a magnitude 6.7 earthquake will strike in California in the next 30 years. Additionally, a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics
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