Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown warns of 'much bigger' future earthquake

Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that the earthquake that shook Napa County on Sunday is “nothing compared to the big one” that California may still face.

“We do have a history of this stuff, and the scientists are telling us that there’s a much bigger one on the way,” Brown said on KGO 810 radio in San Francisco. “These are nothing compared to the big one that they’re predicting.”

The magnitude-6.0 earthquake was the largest in the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a 31 percent chance of an earthquake of a magnitude-6.7 or greater on the Hayward Fault over the next two decades.

In his radio interview, Brown used the earthquake to promote his controversial plan to build two tunnels to divert water around the Delta to the south.

He said that if a big earthquake “hit the Delta and the seawater from the Bay got into the freshwater, then Santa Clara could lose half its water – would lose half its water – and so would a lot of the farmers.”

“There’s a real, real risk there in the Delta area,” Brown said. “And that’s one of the reasons why we’re looking to build a conveyance that will protect against that.”

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