San Andreas. Raymond “Ray” Gaines is a Los Angeles Fire Department Air Rescue pilot in the midst of a divorce from his wife and planning a trip to San Francisco with his daughter Blake.
Meanwhile, Caltech seismologist Dr. Lawrence Hayes and his colleague Dr. Kim Park are at Hoover Dam doing research for a new earthquake predicting model when a nearby and previously unknown fault ruptures. This triggers a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that collapses the dam and kills Park after he rescues a little girl and throws her to Hayes as he falls to the collapsing ground. When Ray is called into work because of this, Blake goes with her mother’s new boyfriend Daniel Riddick to San Francisco, instead of Ray.
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Hayes discovers that the entire San Andreas Fault is shifting and will soon cause a major earthquake, thereby destroying cities along the fault line. Ray’s estranged wife Emma is having lunch at a hotel in Downtown LA with Daniel’s sister Susan when the fault shifts triggering a 9.1 magnitude earthquake, with Susan among the casualties during the event. Rather than reporting for emergency rescue duty, Ray saves Emma from the collapsing building, and they escape the city aboard his helicopter, barely managing to swerve around the U.S. Bank Tower as it comes crumbling down.
In San Francisco, Daniel brings Blake to his office where she meets Ben, an engineer from England seeking employment and his brother, Ollie. Daniel and Blake leave the premises, but they become trapped in their car in the parking garage after a string of earthquakes, with Blake getting her legs pinned in the event. Daniel goes to find help, leaving Blake alone. Soon after, she is found by Ben and Ollie, who help her escape. They then find a working phone in Chinatown and Blake calls Ray and Emma, who fly to San Francisco to save her.