State overdue for Big Ones, but Japan didn’t increase risk

California is overdue not just for a cataclysmic earthquake but a blockbuster double feature – two of them – that could overshadow the destruction of the Northridge or Sylmar quakes, experts said Monday.

Experts also said that last week’s earthquake in Japan throws out all preconceived notions about their strength – among them the belief that the seismic faults under Southern California are too short and shallow to generate an 8-magnitude temblor.

"There have been some assumptions in the past that earthquakes couldn’t be bigger than a certain amount that’s related to a fault on which they occur," says geophysicist Dave Jackson of UCLA. "But this recent earthquake … and a number of others have shown that this idea breaks down.

To read the full article by Tony Castro click here.