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Earthquake expert: San Andreas fault 'locked, loaded and ready to roll'

A leading seismologist has warned that a major earthquake is overdue to strike Southern California, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The portions of Southern California that extend along the San Andreas fault have not seen a major earthquake since 1857, according to the LAT.

That leaves the fault — which is considered both the state's longest and most dangerous fault — ripe to produce a quake that could potentially reach as high as magnitude 8, Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, said to the LAT.

"The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight," Thomas said. "The southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it's locked, loaded and ready to go."

An earthquake of the size Jordan warns could wreak havoc on the region.

In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey found a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault could cause $200 billion in damage and leave southern California's sewer system out of service for six months, the LAT reported.

For more on the fault, read the Los Angeles Times' report.