Skip to main content

Stories by Richard Allen3 articles archived since 1845

Seconds Before the Big One

Earthquake detection systems can sound the alarm in the moments before a big tremor strikes—time enough to save lives

April 1, 2011 — Richard Allen

The essential lesson from the Japan earthquake for the U.S.

As we watch in the images rolling in from Japan we are yet again reminded of the sudden destructive potential of mother Earth. The number of fatalities is currently in the hundreds; the number displaced from their homes is in the tens of thousands. The tsunami generated by this magnitude 8.9 earthquake sent a wall of water sweeping across Japan, and across the Pacific. It was more than 30 feet high in places and reached six miles inland carrying cars, homes and everything else with it. Although the earthquake was 230 miles northeast of Tokyo, this was the worst shaking that people have felt in a city used to earthquakes. Explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have leaked radioactive material into the surrounding area, and we will undoubtedly hear of other catastrophic impacts over the next few days.

March 12, 2011 — Richard Allen

Celebrate our 170th Anniversary with us!

Get 2 years of All Access for just $170