Main freeways to Las Vegas and Phoenix that cross the San Andreas fault would be destroyed in this scenario; Interstate 10 crosses the fault in a dozen spots and Interstate 15 would see the roadway sliced where it crosses the fault, with one part of the roadway shifted from the other by 15 feet, said Jones, who was the lead author of the ShakeOut report.
“Those freeways cross the fault, and when the fault moves, they will be destroyed, period,” Jones said. “To be that earthquake, it has to move that fault, and it has to break those roads.”
The aqueducts that bring in 88% of Los Angeles’ water supply and cross the San Andreas fault all could be damaged or destroyed, Jones said.
A big threat to life would be collapsed buildings. As many as 900 unretrofitted brick buildings close to the fault could come tumbling down on occupants, pedestrians on sidewalks and even roads, crushing cars and buses in the middle of the street.
Fifty brittle concrete buildings housing 7,500 people could completely or partially collapse. Five high-rise steel buildings — of a type known to be seismically vulnerable — holding 5,000 people could completely collapse.
Some 500,000 to 1 million people could be displaced from their homes, Jones said.