When it comes to earthquakes, researchers say the "big one" that's due to take place in California could in fact be a lot bigger than anticipated -- and a new analysis puts an estimate on some of the possible damage.
A 2014 study showed most of the fault could rupture at once, creating a rare 8.3-magnitude earthquake. This contradicts a previously held belief that the 800-mile long San Andreas fault would break apart in sections.
A new analysis by real-estate analytics firm CoreLogic estimates that in such an event as many as 3.5 million homes would be damaged, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The damage to homes could cost $289 billion, CoreLogic said. Previously, that amount was estimated to be $137 billion or $161 billion should an isolated quake take place on the southern or northern portion of the fault, respectively.
But researchers said a statewide quake above 8.0 would hit California only once in 2,500 years. In other words, these are rare quakes. On Tuesday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 struck northern Japan.
Editor's note (6/14/2017): Updated for clarity.