After all this time, we still can’t predict earthquakes or their consequences, which produce more damage than the earthquakes themselves. Some people are scared to death by them. Others are fascinated. Nearly all us of remember some of the biggest earthquakes in history and dread the day when another big one happens. The scary thing about earthquakes is that they are unpredictable and are often accompanied by serious casualties. In today’s article we’re going to take a look at some facts about earthquakes that would hopefully makes us less fearful of them. Because sometimes fear comes from lack of knowledge.
The large 8.8 earthquake that shook Chile on February 27, 2012 managed to move a village 10 feet. The tear in the Earth’s crust moved the village of Concepción 10 feet to the west. The same earthquake is believed to have shortened Earth’s day by slightly changing the planet’s rotation. Isn’t that amazing?
9. Hello Los Angeles, said San Francisco
Apparently the city of San Francisco is getting closer to Los Angeles. How close? 2 inches every year, which is quite a lot, even though it may not seem like much. That’s about the same speed your fingernails are growing. In a few million years the two cities will meet and fortunately, California will not fall into the sea. Unless more ice melts in that time.
The Pacific Ring of Fire is the most active seismic and geological region on our planet. As you can see in the above picture, it circles the Pacific Ocean, touching Japan, China, Russia and the coasts of North and South America. This ring is where all of Earth’s major earthquakes occur, because of the major plates that collide in that area.
Do you know how some people say that a type of weather is perfect for facilitating earthquakes? In fact, there is no such thing as earthquake weather. The changes in the atmospheric pressure are almost invisible when compared to the forces of the earth’s crust. Besides, the effects of the barometric pressure barely penetrate the soil.
We should all remember these two earthquakes: the largest one and the deadliest one. The largest earthquake ever recorded by man happened on May 22, 1960 in Chile and it had a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale. The deadliest earthquake in man’s history was recorded in 1556, on January 23 in China where around 850,000 people died.
March is supposed to be earthquake month, but there is no such thing as that. What made people say that was the fact that two incredibly large earthquakes happened in March (9.2 on March 28 in Alaska and 9.1 on March 9, also Alaska). The next three large earthquakes that happened in the US took place in December, November and February. So, when March comes, relax!
One of the most interesting facts about earthquakes is the fact that if an earthquake takes place on one side of the planet, it can shake the other side. For example, the big 2004 quake in the Indian Ocean that triggered the deadly tsunamis has weakened a bit of California’s San Andreas Fault.
Although, not all scientists have agreed on this, but it appears that the Earth has been more active, seismologically, in the past 20 years. If this is true, then what do you think this means? Are we going to have more and more earthquakes?
Did you know that every year, there are about half a million earthquakes around the world? About 100,000 of them can be felt by humans and around 100 cause damage. If you live in California, then you already know this: the South of the state experiences around 10,000 each year.
We can cause earthquakes. Granted, they’re minor, but oil extraction has been known to cause quakes. Oil is found in the soft sediment and when it is removed, there is a void created that is rapidly filled up with rock, thus creating small seismic events that are so tiny, we can’t feel them. But that doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Are you afraid of earthquakes? Did these facts about earthquakes manage to calm you down just a bit? Tell us your earthquake experience in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.