Everything Wrong with the San Andreas Trailer, According to the Film's Scientific Consultant
The film comes out today, so we haven't seen it yet, but here's everything wrong with the trailer alone, according to the film's scientific consultant:
It's impossible for the San Andreas to cause an earthquake of that magnitude
The first thing we see in the trailer is the devastating damage caused by the earthquake- falling buildings, fires, general mayhem. According to the film, the earthquake is a 9 on the Richter scale. But in reality, experts agree that the San Andreas fault is only capable of an 8.3. An 8.3 is still terrifying, but it wouldn't cause the level of devastation seen in the film.
You can't predict an earthquake before it happens
The second clip in the trailer focuses on Paul Giamatti's character, who clearly plays the fictional version of Thomas. As a result, his lines are a gold mine of scientific inaccuracies. The first words out of his mouth: "People need to know that the shaking is not over. We will get hit again, and it's going to be a bigger one this time." Unfortunately for both the film and real-life earthquake victims, it is impossible for seismologists to predict an earthquake before it happens.
Earthquakes can't cause canyons
Giamatti goes on to say, "the Earth will literally crack open. Except faults like the San Andreas cause earthquakes as a result of friction between tectonic plates, so by definition, the earthquake will not cause the terrifying canyon seen in the above trailer, no matter how big it is.
The East Coast can't "feel" an earthquake in California
Paul Giamatti is just lying all over the place. In the very next line, he says, "We will feel it on the East Coast." Not so. There is practically no conceivable way that the quake's tremors could travel the 2800 miles to be felt all the way over on the Eastern seaboard.
The San Andreas fault can't cause a tsunami
The final (and fairly frightening) sequence in the trailer sees a titanic tsunami rolling towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This is such a great and action movie-ish image, you have to expect that it's a load of BS, and it is. According to Thomas, the San Andreas fault is mostly on land, and therefore wouldn't be able to cause a huge tsunami as seen in this trailer.
The moral of the story
"It's a good action flick and spectacular special effects … but not realistic from a seismological point of view," said Thomas. "But you wouldn't expect it to be. It's Hollywood."
Via LA Times.