Hollywood Earthquakes versus Reality

Posted at 1:30 p.m.

It’s all over social media, and it did over $54 million at the box office in its opening weekend. What are we talking about? The movie “San Andreas,” which chronicles the potential destruction from a magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent, even larger, aftershocks.

The great thing about the movie — and all of the Hollywood special effects — is that after the movie is over and the popcorn is eaten, you get to go home safe and sound. However, the reality is that an earthquake can very well be a devastating natural disaster.

Reality vs. Hollywood

Prior to the movies’ release, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake last month, followed by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, rocked the country of Nepal, with casualties in the thousands and tens of thousands left homeless; over 8,000 people have been killed from these combined earthquakes.

You also may remember the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Mineral, Va., in August 2011. It caused significant structural damage from central Virginia to southern Maryland and the Washington D.C. area, to include Fairfax County. The quake, with hundreds of aftershocks, damaged more than 1,400 homes and businesses in Virginia.

Now’s a great time — while the topic is fresh on our minds — to remind ourselves of the proper steps to take during an earthquake: “Drop, Cover and Hold On!”

There are simple actions we all should do to get prepared to survive and recover. Visit www.earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps to learn more.

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

One response to “Hollywood Earthquakes versus Reality”

  1. Thomas B. Bash says :

    Hi Fairfax Alerts,

    Earthquake risk is minimal here in the mid-Atlantic. (See Attachments 1 and 2.) Natural disasters in general are only an occasional threat to public safety in Northern Virginia. After all, we do not live on the Gulf Coast or in California. I would respectfully suggest that you broaden your Department’s perspective to include the mitigation of safety and health risks faced on a daily basis by many of our older and more vulnerable residents. (See last Attachment.)

    Tom Bash Springfield District Fairfax Area Commission on Aging