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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

'Big One' at a Big Lake

November 27, 2003

You casually say in "Salton Sea Plan Mired in Muck" (Nov. 24) that "the seismically active and gooey seabed may not be stable enough to support a dike." In fact, the northwest end of the proposed $1.5-billion earthen dike would be anchored against the San Andreas fault zone that last ruptured here in 1680 and is long overdue for "the big one."

A major earthquake here would liquefy the lakebed and probably most of any earthen dike with an almost instantaneous lateral movement of about 30 feet. In addition, an earthquake-generated tsunami is quite possible in such a large body of water. Find another way!

Edward C. Wilson

Rancho Mirage

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