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3/27/2013 - Experts warn earthquakes may become more common

During the next century, the chance of a devastating earthquake in the United States is expected to increase.

While there hasn't been a serious earthquake that's occurred in the U.S. for several years, researchers have recently made some dire predictions about the likelihood of one occurring at some point in the not-too-distant future.

According to a newly released study that's been published by the U.S. Geological Survey, the country faces an increased risk for earthquakes to occur with greater frequency throughout the course of the next 100 years.

Thomas Holzer, the study's lead researcher, determined this after he and his colleagues analyzed earthquake data through history, finding a correlation between how fast a country or region grows in size to temblor prevalence.

If the researchers' prognostications prove to be accurate, there could be as many as two dozen catastrophic earthquakes that will occur in the 21st century. Between 1900 and 2000, only seven occurred that geologists define as serious.

"I cannot stress enough the value of educated citizens," said Applegate. "Those who understand the natural hazards of this planet [should be] empowered to take action to reduce their risk."

While earthquakes can occur at any time and in any part of the world, they have typically taken in the West - specifically California - which has a greater number of fault lines. Homeowners can protect themselves and their loved ones by getting in touch with their homeowner's insurance provider and asking them about their earthquake coverage, which is generally not included in a basic policy.

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