Next quake on Hayward Fault would be disastrous, researchers say

- A magnitude 7.0 earthquake along the Hayward Fault could kill as many as 800 people and injure 18,000, according to results of a new research released Wednesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey, citing findings from a simulated tremor with an epicenter in Oakland, said the disaster would cause 400 fires that could destroy 50,000 homes. Nearly half a million people would be displaced, authorities said.

USGS geophysicists planned to join East Bay school district representatives, water agencies, PG&E, BART and state agencies at a news conference Wednesday afternoon at UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, which sits along the Hayward Fault. 

The simulated quake, known as the "HayWired scenario," was modeled to occur at 4:18 p.m. on April 18. It replicates a rupture along the fault's entire 52-mile length, from San Pablo Bay in the north to just east of San Jose in the south. 

Researchers said East Bay residents could be without water from anywhere between six weeks to six months. Electricity could be out for up to four weeks in some locations. 

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