Modified Mercalli Shaking Intensity Scale
In the early days of earthquake investigations, seismologist used earthquake intensities as the applicable yardstick to estimate the size of an earthquake. Intensities are measured by means of the degree of damage to structures, the amount of disturbance to the ground surface, and the extent of human and animal reactions to the shaking.
A scale developed by the Italian seismologist and volcanologist G. Mercalli in 1902 has 12 values for describing an earthquake. The scale was later modified to better fit modern conditions.
Is Earthquake Insurance Necessary?
When people think of earthquakes, they automatically think of the state of California. However, anyone that watches the news regularly will know that earthquakes happen all around the world. Statically speaking, on average there is about 5 thousand earthquakes that happen in the United States every year. Though some areas are more prone to earthquakes, they can happen just about anywhere because there are countless fault lines that run from the east coast of the United States to the west coast. Because earthquake can happen anywhere, a person may be asking themselves if earthquake insurance is necessary.
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If I don’t live along the fault line in California, Oregon and Washington, why would I need to consider earthquake insurance? That is a very good question so let’s share some facts about earthquakes. Although the west coast is an active earthquake area in the U.S., other hotspots are known for their activity. Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, also in the west, but moving east there are known hotspots in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and much of Hawaii and Alaska.
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Earthquakes never occur when you need one, so structural engineers are shaking up a building themselves in the name of science and safety. Using massive moving platforms and an array of sensors and cameras, the researchers are trying to find out how well a two-story building made of cold-formed steel can stand up to a lab-generated Southern California quake.
Scientists suggest that the 1960s eruption of Costa Rica’s largest stratovolcano was triggered by magma rising from the mantle over a few short months, rather than thousands of years or more, as many scientists have thought.
Researchers have demonstrated the reliability and efficiency of “real-time hybrid simulation” for testing a type of powerful damping system that might be installed in buildings and bridges to reduce structural damage and injuries during earthquakes.
Automatic Gas Shut-Of Valves
If you live in earthquake prone regions and have gas service, you may be interested in investing in a earthquake gas shut-off valve. Although there are many designs, most use the ball method. Its concept is simple and a typical example is shown above. A metal ball on a pedestal opens a valve allowing gas to pass from the service (either a tank or a utility hook-up) to the house. When sufficient shaking occurs, the ball drops from the pedestal, closing the valve – shutting off the flow of gas.[Insert Valve Graphic here]
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New Zealand Earthquake
On Sunday, July 21, 2013, an earthquake struck the country of New Zealand. The earthquake’s magnitude was a 6.5, and it hit without warning. The epicenter of the quake was 35 miles south of the capital city of Wellington. At first the earthquake was reported as a 6.9, but when the earthquake was analyzed, the magnitude was altered to 6.5. However, what made the earthquake unusual was the fact that the epicenter was actually a body of water. The channel between the north and south islands of New Zealand was where the earthquake actually began.
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Haiti Earthquake in 2010
Scientists are still unable to predict when and where an earthquake will happen despite all of the technological advances and scientific research. It is for this reason that major earthquakes cause devastating destruction to property and cause large death tolls. Scientists are unable to warn the public when an earthquake is possible catching many by surprise and even more unprepared. » Read more
The Need for an Earthquake Kit
Earthquakes can happen all over the world; all there needs to be is a fault line. The lack of earthquakes along a very prominent fault line, like the one in New York, causes much confusion in the science world. It is for this reason that scientists have been studying the causes of earthquakes for many years. Although scientists continue to research they are still unable to predict where or when an earthquake will occur.
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