Among the many luminaries invited to preview the film was Dr. Lucy Jones, the USGS seismologist who recently took me on a walk along the Hollywood Fault, which runs close to the cinema where the film premiered. She now works for the City of LA which she calls “the most interesting geological place in the US”—an understatement as oversized as Dwayne Johnson’s thighs.
After getting her photo taken with The Rock on the red carpet, Jones took her seat and proceeded to fact-check the film, posting her thoughts live via Twitter. Here are some of her criticisms of the movie. Warning: Mild, 3.0-magnitude spoilers.
First big howler. San Andreas the movie pretends that California has a subduction zone. We can only have a M8.2
If seismologists could actually predict EQs, we'd all be much richer. Too bad that part of San Andreas isn't real...
First big safety message- if the shaking is bad enough to damage a dam you won't be able to run
The predictions aren't real but EQ triggering is real. A California EQ M7.3 in 1992 triggered a M5.7 in Nevada the next day
Yes! Drop, cover& hold on. The right thing to do in an earthquake
Now people fall trying to run but they run anyway. I guess only the seismologists know Drop Cover Hold On
I like that the aftershocks keep on hitting and cause more damage. That's the reality of Big EQs
We expect serious damage to 1 in every 16 buildings in a real San Andreas EQ. The movie damage over the top.
OMG! A chasm? If the fault could open up, there'd be no friction. With no friction, there'd be no earthquake
Recognizing water draw down as sign of tsunami is good. However tsunami from San Andreas is impossible. Now we are in fantasy territory
Bottom line: don't learn seismology from #SanAndreas but maybe it will inspire people to take Community Emergency Response Training
Her final verdict on the film itself? “Better than I thought it would be.” For a more thorough explanation of what could actually happen when the Big One hits (and it IS coming), Jones recommends this report. Whatever you do, don’t believe what you see on Dutch YouTube videos.