"Special Report: Big California Quake Likely To Devastate State"
"SAN FRANCISCO -- California will experience unthinkable damage when the next powerful quake strikes, probably within 30 years, even though the state prides itself on being on the leading edge of earthquake science.
Modern skyscrapers built to the state's now-rigorous building codes might ride out the big jolt that experts say is all but inevitable, but the surviving buildings will tower over a carpet of rubble from older structures that have collapsed.
Hot desert winds could fan fires that quakes inevitably cause, overwhelming fire departments, even as ancient water pipelines burst, engineers and architects say.
Part of the lesson from the disaster that hit Japan on Friday is that no amount of preparation can fully protect a region such as California that sits on top of fault lines."
Source: Reuters, 03/16/2011