Jul 9, 2009 | 2
An analysis of eight years of seismological data from deep in the central California crust shows that tremor rates along the area’s section of the San Andreas Fault have remained high for the past six years, signaling the possibility of a larger earthquake, according to a paper published today in Science.
“Tremors are a more sensitive indicator of stress change than are earthquakes,” the study authors write. And the tremor data seem to indicate that the San Andreas Fault “may have transitioned into a new state of stress and/or deformation,” bringing fears of something akin to the infamous 7.8-magnitute 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake, in which the fault ruptured significantly.
Apr 7, 2009
A powerful, magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the Kuril Islands off of Russia’s Pacific coast today as deaths from the 6.3 quake in Italy surpassed 200.
The Kuril Islands temblor, which occurred at 4:23 P.M. local time (12:23 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time), was in a sparsely populated area, according to CNN. It didn’t prompt the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami warning.
Meanwhile, 207 people were declared dead, 1,000 were injured and 15 people were still missing following yesterday's devastating quake in the Abruzzo region of Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said during a tour of the region today, according to The New York Times. At least 280 aftershocks have hit the area since yesterday’s early morning quake, the newspaper said.
Apr 3, 2009 | 1
Predicting earthquakes might sound like a pretty forward-looking job. But some seismologists are digging up information about past earthquakes to better understand the hazards of today.
A research team from the University of Nevada and the University of Oregon reports in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America this week that it's been working on a new way to study California's southern San Andreas fault. By analyzing data from more than 50 quakes from eight different locations, they have been able to estimate the most common types of slips. The legendary1857 Fort Tejon earthquake (7.9 on the Richter scale), which was the largest in modern Southern California history, was hardly unique, say the researchers. Their analysis found that at least a handful of similar earthquakes have rocked the area since 900 C.E.
Feb 12, 2009
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake and three dozen aftershocks injured at least 42 people and set off a tsunami warning in eastern Indonesia.
The strongest quake struck 195 miles (320 kilometers) north of the Sulawesi island coast at 1:34 A.M. today in Indonesia (12:34 P.M. Eastern time yesterday), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The strongest aftershock measured 6.2 on the Richter scale.
The tsunami warning lasted only an hour, according to the Associated Press. But that was long enough to scare residents, they told the newswire. "We were so afraid," said Damian Geruh, adding that women were screaming as they fled their homes. "We ran to nearby hill. I saw others climbing trees."
Indonesia is part of the "Ring of Fire," an area of active volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basin. The country’s Aceh province was the hardest hit in the devastating December 2004 tsunami, which killed an estimated 230,000 people following a massive, magnitude 9.2 earthquake.
Dec 16, 2008 | 8
Thinking about relocating? Forget the proximity of good schools, trendy shopping and green space. You might want to take a look at a new “hazard map” of the U.S., which spells out by geographic region the likelihood of dying from floods, earthquakes or other natural dangers.
Geographers from the University of South Carolina in Columbia determined how common deaths from natural hazards were in different regions of the country, using information from the Spatial Hazard Event and Loss Database, which culls deaths and economic losses from weather in the U.S. (Here's the abstract of what some are calling the "death map" study.) They examined 11 categories of hazards between 1970 and 2004: winter weather (such as frigid temps and blizzards), mass movements (such as landslides and avalanches), coastal and geophysical events (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis), flooding, heat and drought, hurricanes and tropical storms, lightning, severe weather (combinations of hail, wind and rain), tornadoes and wildfires.
Dec 12, 2008 | 1
Another major earthquake along the same fault line that sparked the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is likely in the next several decades—and it could unleash as much or more destruction, new research suggests.
The tsunami, which killed an estimated 250,000 people, was sparked by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake along the Sunda fault off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. A major 8.4 temblor and aftershocks along a southern section of that fault called the Mentawi patch shook up the region last year.
Now, analysis of coral growth patterns along the Mentawi patch suggests that the 2007 quake may have been just the first episode in an "earthquake supercycle," or set of large quakes that have occurred in the region roughly every 200 years for the past seven centuries. Sections of the Earth's crust called tectonic plates are likely to rupture again under the Mentawi patch within several decades, possibly generating a magnitude 8.8 temblor, according to research published in this week's Science.
Nov 17, 2008 | 1
At least four people died and 30 were injured after a major, magnitude 7.3 earthquake shook Indonesia early today, prompting authorities to activate the country's new tsunami warning system.
The quake struck at 1:02 a.m. local time (12:02 p.m. EST yesterday) 85 miles (135 kilometers) northwest of Gorontalo in the country's central Sulawesi region, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The new tsunami warning system was turned off a couple hours after the quake struck and no cyclone developed, but residents were still panicked and clustered on high ground, the International Herald Tribune reports.
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