The director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, Thomas Jordan, made an announcement recently that would have sent a chill down the spine of every Californian: that the San Andreas fault appears to be in a critical state and as such, could generate a large earthquake imminently.

Of course, the reiteration of the seismic hazard to Californians will be nothing surprising, but what is new is the warning that the southern portion of the fault “looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go.” Why is this eminent seismologist making these alarming statements? Well, the fact is that there has not been a major release of stresses in the southern portion of the San Andreas fault system since 1857. READ MORE