Despite popular expectation that the San Andreas Fault would be the culprit in a massive Los Angeles catastrophe, it was the Puente Hills thrust system that did the job. Located directly below the major metropolitan area, the 2014 Puente Hills Earthquake destroyed the city. As stated by the Tourist, “stirred L.A. like a bathtub.”
The quake began in the Salton Sea. In 1:05 seconds, San Bernadino was trashed. By 1:15, the quake hit L.A. and Interstate 15 became history. A 20 foot chasm opened in the road. After that, no one got in or out unless it was on foot. Palm Springs moved 20 feet in less than a minute. Thousands perished.
Broken water-mains meant no freshwater. Broken gas-lines meant fire hazards. For a community already in the grip of anarchy following the energy crisis caused by G-Day, the Puente Hills quake was just that much worse. Minimal rescue personnel, minimal medical supplies, minimal neighborly assistance. Los Angeles became an utter wasteland.
Of those who could eventually escape, most did. However, there were those who saw limitless opportunity in the wreckage. Looting and drug use were the order of the day. A few opportunistic ne'er-do-wells rose to become kings in the husk of L.A. Others were too old or simply didn’t want to leave their home. Some, like the Tourist, stayed behind just to see what would happen.