A massive earthquake looms for Southern California, according to one expert.
Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, shared his ominous warning during this week's National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach.
The San Andreas fault is due for a massive earthquake, one expert said.
"The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight. And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it's locked, loaded and ready to go," Jordan said during his keynote speech, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The last major earthquake along the fault line in the area occurred in 1857. The Fort Tejon Earthquake left a surface rupture about 225 miles long — but only two people died in the region, which was then sparsely populated.
The last major earthquake along the fault line in the area occurred in 1857.
"Were the Fort Tejon shock to happen today, the damage would easily run into billions of dollars, and the loss of life would likely be substantial, as the present day communities of Wrightwood, Palmdale, Frazier Park, and Taft (among others) all lie upon or near the 1857 rupture area," the Southern California Earthquake Data Center wrote.
Because it's been so quiet for so long along the fault line, Jordan worries that the tectonic plates aren't properly relieving stress.
Experts are concerned about the impact a major earthquake could have on Los Angeles.
While Los Angeles is not situated directly along the fault line, Jordan is concerned about the impact a major earthquake could have on the city.
If a massive quake occurs, "You'll notice large shaking in the Los Angeles region persisting for long periods of time," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake cost $42 billion in damages.
Los Angeles has already begun bracing for a major earthquake, requiring retrofitting for 15,000 buildings in a measure passed in October.
The region has been hit by big earthquakes in recent decades, including the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which cost $42 billion in damages — but that quake didn't occur along the San Andreas fault.
The National Earthquake Conference continues through Friday.