| || More than 100 geological faults cut across California. The best known is the San Andreas fault, which is 621 miles (1,000 km) long and a continuation of the East Pacific ridge onto the North American continent. From the northern end of the Gulf of California in Mexico, the fault runs the length of California, reaching as far as north as San Francisco. The sides of the fault are pushed by their respective tectonic plates at different speeds. As a result, instead of pushing against each other evenly, the sides slip, creating a movement differential from one side to the other of about 2.16 inches (5.5 cm) per year. At this rate, in some 10 million years’ time, Los Angeles will be next door to San Francisco—if either still exists. The accumulated tension between the rocks is enormous; if this were ever fully released, the results could be disastrous for the region and its dense population. The 1906 earthquake destroyed two-thirds of the city of San Francisco.
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