From the U.S. Geological Survey: Volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches partly encircling the Pacific Basin form the so-called Ring of Fire, a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The trenches are shown in blue-green. The volcanic island arcs, although not labelled, are parallel to, and always landward of, the trenches. For example, the island arc associated with the Aleutian Trench is represented by the long chain of volcanoes that make up the Aleutian Islands.
While there is no trench along the Pacific coast of the lower 48 and most of North America there have been some significant earthquakes. The most famous being the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.9. Los Angeles’ most recent significant earthquake was called the “Northridge Earthquake” that occurred on January 17, 1994, at 4:31 a.m. hitting the San Fernando Valley and resulting in widespread devastation that impacted the freeway system throughout the city.
Today I saw a spokesperson for the USGS on CNN who said we would not have an earthquake greater than 8.0 magnitude. However, there is some contradicting opinion. The Los Angeles Times had an article on October 10, 2010 about a study “of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that could run 340 miles from Monterey County to the Salton Sea.”
My home is in the San Fernando Valley and I do have two cabinets in my back yard holding emergency supplies. In addition I have a propane barbeque that could act as a stove. I will be reviewing those supplies this weekend.