Californian Land Slip


The Californian land slip was a catastrophic natural disaster affecting the North American west coast in the mid-23rd century.


For centuries it had been recognised that the active geologic fault running through the state of California was a disaster waiting to happen. Strict building codes and advanced engineering kept the major cities of the western seaboard safe through the increasingly large tremors of the 21st century. In the early 22nd century, major breakthroughs in the science of geostabilisation allowed engineers to install devices deep below the Earth's surface that would stabilise the fault permanently. It was acknowledged as one of the greatest engineering marvels in history.

In 2255, after more than a century of flawless operation, the fault stabilisers broke down. The cause of the failure was never determined, but the effects were felt almost immediately. Forces long held in check broke loose, causing earthquakes of a magnitude never before recorded. Thousands of square kilometres of land fell into the sea, including the greater part of several coastal metropolises, with a loss of life in the tens of millions. The resulting tsunamis further scoured dozens of kilometres inland. Effects were felt all around the Pacific rim, but with sufficient warning time that further loss of life was kept to a minimum.


After the catastrophe, no attempt was made to repopulate the devastated coastal regions. An entire strip of formerly fertile land was now a wasteland, a desert where little grew and only a few hardy, or foolhardy, people scratched out a meagre living in the ruins of the once great cities. This was still the situation in the mid-24th century.