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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Wxinnday, febfuary 17, 1971 THE UTHBKIDGE HtttlO 33 Angeles waits in its special mystique Scientists claim greatest earthquake still to come in California Bv JULES LOH And SAUL PETT LOS ANGELES (API Last Tuesday, before first light, it seemed the whole place was shaking away, that here at last was the "great earthquake" scientists and soothsayers had ben predicting for California for years. More than 60 people were killed in the Los Angeles area, more than were injured and the face of the city took hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Still, say the scientists and soothsayers, this was not the "great earthquake." That is yet to come, they say, without saying when. California, especially Los Angeles, waits for the other shoe to drop, the big one. No panic, no visible tension, no mass exodus from a state whose geological basement is a maze of cracks. Los Angeles waits in its special mystique. The sun brought 'em here. The sun keeps 'em here. Earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires, smog, fog, big winds, big traffic, plastic hamburgers-still thev came. Mother them. Mother Nature resisted still they came. Hidden by smog or not, the sun beckoned, symbol of a better life, the eternal lure. California became the most populous state in the United States and the freeway frenzy became legend-arv and still they came. BUILT BIG DAM At the head of the San Fernando Valley, above the houses, they, built a wall of earth to dam the precious water from the streams of the mountains to the north. They called it the Van Norman Dam and never seemed to worry that it might crack and send them fleeing. In 1926, on the side of one slope, they built a war veterans' hospital set against the San Gabriel mountains with a view of the valley below. Who could imagine it would one day coltose in seconds? Part of the mystique of the Angeleno is his optimistic, casual attitude toward the great forces of nature surrounding him in his Eden. Real disaster always hits the other guy. More people are killed in traffic than in natural disasters. The Angeleno knows, for example, that the lulls city wear a coat of chap-paral, a thick growth high in oil content that ignites cs readily as his patio briquettes. He knows that each fall hot winds flow across the Mojave Desert and rush through his coastal mountain canyons at gale force and that any spark can ignite the chapparal, and does, each fall, almost on schedule, and that the burned brush grows right back in spring and becomes next fall's tinder. He knows this but still he builds his home in the canyon furnace. He knows also that hills stripped of their greenery do not suck up the rain. He knows that when the rains come, as they do each winter, the hills turn to mud and the mud slides down the slopes, taking everything with it to the bottom, in a heap. He knows this but still he builds his house on the hill. Statistics favor him, not the other guv. And he knows as well that California is one of the most earthquake-prone places on earth. About 200 times a year, the ground trembles at one spot or another in the state with enough magnitude tp shake the 250 earthquakes out of literally thousands a year that aren't strong enough to feed. NX) PLACE SAFE "People who have a great fear of earthquakes." says Dr. Charles F. KJchter, the seismologist retired from the California Institute cf Tchnolc.gy, "should not he encouraged to come to California; there is no citv or town in CaUfornia safe from earthquakes." That is because the crust of the state has countless "eoloaic "old wounds in the hcan that have opened again and as Richter describes them, almost fondly. In a sense the faults are a blessing. They are nature's own expansion joints, which relieve great seismic forces boiling and straining deep within the earfh. The longer the strain builds without relief the greater the shudder when the wounded crust readjusts itself. Over the years some of the California quakes have been mighty, cf course, such as the one in 1906 that devastated San Francisco and took 701) lives and the one in 1933 that left 120 dead in Long Beach. But geologists and also predicted a great earthquake. To them. has a cific meaning: a quake of a magnitude of at least 8.0 on the open-ended Kichtcr such the 8.5 jolt that ravaged Alaska in 1864. California, fay the scientists, has overdue for a great quake for several years and the Los area, ihsy say, is fhe likeliest plr.ce fc" it to strike. Their reason ha? to do with the San Andreas fault, a in the earth's crust 650 miles lona. north to south, from which most of the lesser California faults rsdiate. The huge cf gragrtphy on t h e western side of the San Andreas has been for eons creeping ii'e.vorablv northward 2t a pace cf about two inches a year. Ai pome places along the faullline the movement is only i'n inch, at a half-inch. Along the pet-lion of the line east of Los Angeles, however, there has been no movement at all fcr a cenHuy; the opposing faces of the fault push together tco tightly to allow the earth to creep along and ease its strain. History tells the scientists thr.t such "frozen" sections cannot resist mere than 15 or 20 feet of the northward earth movement before they snap forward, violently, to caich up with the rest of the great moving mass. When this happens the earth vibrates like a released bow string. The titanic vibrations are called earthquakes. By scientific measurements the strain along the frozen fault-line of Los Argeles has been stretching history's outer limits for several years. Thus Angelenos were not when, as recently as Tuesday, Feb. 9, a.m., Feb. 4, Richard H. Jahns, dean the earth lei go. of the School of Earth t'.-iences I It snapped at a minor fault at at Stanford University, warned, the fool of the San Gabriel yet apain, that a ''great earth- mountains, on the northeast rim quake" would hit Southern Call- cf the Son Fernando Valley, fornia some time before the Huge shock waves ripped out in turn of the centurv. concentric circles and the earth Manv thought the next "great j twisted and cracked and rocked earthquake" would come two and shook, shook as far as 3oO years ago. Assorted or; clcs pre- miles away, dieted that a planetoid named Seconds later, another jolt, an Icarus would, in April. 1969, or j aftershock. Then another, and perhaps May, crash into San another, and another, and an-Francisco somewhere between i six in all, a nightmare the Venice Pier and Haight-Ash- 1 lasting five minutes 11 seconds, burv and set off a quske. A Los i Buildings shook and collapsed, Angeles minister, Rev. Don Ab- window glass flew, telephone ernathy, said his vision included poles swayed in dizzy arcs, volcanoes as well as quakes, i power lines ripped ar.d great loosed upon California for its blue flashes lit the dark sky, sins; he led his flock to Geor- roads buckled, freeway spans gia. hired to probe Engineering and Associates Ltd. of Calgary will be hired by the tov.n fcr a study on storage and treatment facilities. Th? firm's studv is slated for 31 Ths firm will also conduct a study cf services needed for the of a parcel of land the southeast end of meets 1 COALDAI.E (HNS) Twenty members were present for the recent meeting of the St. Ambrose Church Catholic Women's League to make final plans for the annual smorgasbord from to p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 in the St. Joseph's -School plan supper were set as follows: free for preschoolers; 75 cents for students to 12 years of age and SI .25 for those over 12. A special family feature rate was set at S5. Proceeds will assist the CWL in its various church, community and charitable projects. LESS at SAFEWAY DISCOUNT f i MCdll Super Savers In Safeway Brands! Breakfast Gem, Conndo Grade A Large doz. I I '09 Instant Coffee Airwoy ior 79 Coffee Tone Strawberry Jam Green Peas Cottage Cheese lueern. Ground Coffee Lucerne, family size "-oz. net wt. ja or Raspberry, Empress 24 fl. oz. tin Scotch Treat, frozen, Canada Choice 2-lb. net wt. bag for creamed, large or small curd 32-ez. tub Edwards Reg. or Fine, vac packed 1-lb. net wt. tin Fresh Baked Goods! Skylark Bread Irish Loaf or Milkloaf, White or Brown, 20-oz. sliced loaf 4 Macaroon Cups ToastMoster pk, rf 33' Apple Strussel Discount Price Apple Fruit Bar Cookies Discount Price Sparkling Bright Fresh Produce B.C. APPLES Canada Extra Fancy Red Delicious or Spartan Watermelon Anjou Pears Celery Hearts Navel Oranges Mexican Whole or Cut Up.......... B.C. Canada Extra Fancy Grade Imported Fresh, pkg. Sunkist, Fresh Cello Bag PRICES EFFECTIVE in all Lethbridge Stores Feb. 17-20 Crisco Ketchup Heini 1 Ib. net wt. pkg. 20 fl. oz. bottle 49c 51c Tooth Paste Tube Pancake Mix Jonn5on Johnson pink or Blue pkg. of 12 Margarine Parkoy ,lb. nrtwt.pkg Feenamint 3lb.netwt.tinl.43 Shirriffs Scalloped 534ozne.wt.pkg. TO-DAY'S 1 TIP ON .1 St. lawrence -J-J N 25 fl. oz. bottle Corn H.P, Sauce Dill PicklesBicks Polish 1 f TO-DAY' aefenswe Cauliflower Broccoli Turkey Dinner Fraser Vale Canada Fancy 10-oz. net wt. pkg. Fraser Vale Canada Fancy 10-oz. net wt. pkg. Swanson, 3 course 17-oz. net wt. pkg. 85 New Large Size ............16 fl. oz. bottle 69c 32 fl. oz. jar Frozen Cakes KEEP RIGHT At Hill Crests On Curves Turning Right Oowfesy ol the POLICE DEPARTMENT Delnor, Whole, Canada Fancy 2-lb. net wt. pkg. Chicken or Turkey Pies Whole Strawberries r- ;