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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In 2006 the island of Java, Indonesia was struck by a devastating earthquake followed by the onset of a mud eruption to the east, flooding villages over several square kilometers and that continues to erupt today. Until now, researchers believed the earthquake was too far from the mud volcano to trigger the eruption. Geophysicists have now use computer-based simulations to show that such triggering is possible over long distances.
How often do earthquakes occur?
To most people’s surprise, significant worldwide earthquake activity happens at a phenomenal rate. The number of worldwide earthquakes registering M4.0 or stronger ranges between 100 – 500 events per week; activity in the M5+ range happens between 5 – 70 times per week; and it is unusual when a M6+ quake does not happen somewhere on the planet during a week.
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Swarms of small earthquakes can precede a volcanic eruption, sometimes resulting in “harmonic tremor” resembling sound from some musical instruments. A new analysis shows tremor during a 2009 sequence at Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano glided to substantially higher frequencies, then stopped abruptly just before six of the eruptions.
The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. More than 300 earthquakes above a magnitude 3.0 occurred in the three years from 2010-2012, compared with an average rate of 21 events per year observed from 1967-2000. This increase in earthquakes prompts two important questions: Are they natural, or human-made? And what should be done in the future as we address the causes and consequences of these events to reduce associated risks? U.S. Geological Survey scientists have been analyzing the changes in the rate of earthquakes as well as the likely causes, and they have some answers.
Large earthquakes from distant parts of the globe are setting off tremors around waste-fluid injection wells in the central United States, says a new study. Furthermore, such triggering of minor quakes by distant events could be precursors to larger events at sites where pressure from waste injection has pushed faults close to failure, say researchers. Among the sites covered are central Oklahoma, western Texas and southern Colorado.
An analysis of earthquakes in the area around the Salton Sea Geothermal Field in southern California has found a strong correlation between seismic activity and operations for production of geothermal power, which involve pumping water into and out of an underground reservoir.
Review Post-Earthquake Plans
Check and Renew Provisions:
Check supply of emergency food and water. Check medication, first aid materials, for all members of the houshold including the children, handicapped and elderly. Replenish expired supplies of food, water medecine, fire extinguishers, and batteries.
Review Family Plans:
Review the responsibility of each familly member after an earthquake. Call the designated contact person outside the area to remind them of their role. Review plans to pick up children and check with schools or daycare centers to ensure the family plan in still appropriate.
Review Community Plans:
Contact your neighbors periodically to review earthquake plans. Contact your local Office of Emergency Services for an update on the local emergency plan.
These tips were developed by California’s Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
What causes earthquakes?
Just below Earth’s surface, the crust layer is divided up into several “plates”, which are always moving slightly. Between these plates are fault lines, which is where the plates come together. At these fault lines, the plates are constantly rubbing and sliding against each other, but sometimes due to irregularities and high friction, the plates become locked and stop moving.
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