Could the Disaster Movie San Andreas Happen in Maine?*
It is no secret that the 2015 Hollywood action thriller "San Andreas" depicts an imaginary event. And yet Mainers know little enough about earthquakes that they might wonder how much of it could be real. It is true that earthquakes are fundamentally unpredictable, powerful, and uncontrollable natural events. Just add a little fear and uncertainty to get a classic combination for a Hollywood thriller.
If this movie has raised your interest about real earthquakes and about reasonable ways to prepare for unexpected emergencies in general, there are many places you can go for reliable information. Actor Dwayne Johnson of the San Andreas movie has made a Public Service Announcement directing you to Ready.gov/earthquake, a great resource.
We also recommend the following internet resources:
- Maine Earthquakes - The Maine Geological Survey's earthquake pages
- Earthquake Preparedness - Earthquake Country Alliance (California)
- Drop, Cover, Hold on!
- Earthquake Facts & Fantasy - U.S. Geological Survey
- Reality check on the movie San Andreas
And just for fun, geologist Lucy Jones tweeted some of the factual accuracies and inaccuracies of the movie while watching the premier.
* By the way, the answer is no. Maine is geologically old, and while it does have a moderate level of widespread earthquake activity, it does not have active faults like the San Andreas. In fact, the two magnitude 9 earthquakes that happen in the movie are not even possible on the real San Andreas fault in California.
Last updated on June 3, 2015