We are not able to predict when earthquakes will happen right? You see, I live near Portland, OR. and we are apparently on or near a major fault line. There have been recent articles saying we are due for a big one---like maybe a 9.0. But in my opinion it could happen tomorrow or 600 years from now right:? Some say it is going to happen in February of next year; there is no way anyone could know that right?
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Thank you Joseph for your excellent & educational feedback! I will read it a few more times to make sure I understand it all. It's a bummer cause I have a wife, 2 kids, a new house, etc. I live in Hillsboro - 40 minutes West of Portland.
For a hazard map of the Pacific NW, go to: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/oreg... (if you are in the orange or red you should be sure that your house is bolted to the foundation +10 days of non-perishable food & water).
I think that Joseph's comment is spot-on. Geological studies on earthquakes yield more probabilities about the risks than certainties. This allows policy-makers (and home-owners to take reasonable precautions that are proportionate to the risks.