Hayward Fault, California
The Hayward fault, a crack in the earth’s crust about 62 miles long in the San Francisco Bay area, is referred to by U.S. Geological Survey Scientists as a tectonic time bomb. It is considered the most dangerous urban fault zone in the country, experiencing quakes of magnitude 6.8 or greater about every 140 to 170 years. Having suffered from a magnitude 7 quake in 1868, the Bay Area is due for another large tremor in the very near future, geologists fear.
If the 1868 earthquake were to occur today, the consultancy firm Risk Management Solutions estimates total economic losses to residential and commercial properties would likely exceed $165 billion.