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Sunday, 23 November 2014


Earthquakes are necessary to open up veins of useful metals that were originally in accessible, deep inside the Earth in this planet's past. The tremors used to be much more volatile than they are now. This was in order to throw up layers of minerals and metals so that once humans appeared they could access them..

A living planet can't be completely still. The slow continental drift causes a few earthquakes, which sometimes causes terrible suffering. But on the whole we have learnt how to avoid these dangers. We can now construct earthquake proof buildings - like those in Tokyo, which experiences two or three earthquakes every day.

Zhang Heng (AD 78-139) of China invented the world's first seismometer, which discerned the cardinal direction of an earthquake 500 km (310 miles) away.

The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hit Shaanxi province, China on January 23, 1556. A 520 mile-wide (840-km) area was destroyed and in some counties as much as 60% of the population was killed. Most of the population in the area at the time lived in yaodongs, artificial caves in loess cliffs, many of which collapsed with catastrophic loss of life. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.

The biggest earthquake ever felt in Britain was on April 6, 1580. It damaged houses and churches and falling stones killed two children  It caused a tsunami and flooding in France, Flanders and England in which 120 people drowned.

Shakespeare’s referred to the quake in Romeo and Juliet, which he wrote in 1591 when the Nurse says, “Tis since the earthquake now eleven years.”

After the 1755 Great Earthquake of Lisbon, which killed around 30,000 people, some American ministers proclaimed it was a punishment for the heresy of using lightening rods to avert the wrath of God. They had recently been developed by Benjamin Franklin, to avert the wrath of God.

An earthquake on December 16, 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards.

An earthquake struck the coast of Northern California including San Francisco (see below) at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906 with a moment magnitude of 7.8. Devastating fires broke out in the city that lasted for several days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. The death toll from the earthquake and resulting fire remains the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history.

The Great Kantō earthquake devastated Tokyo and Yokohama on September 1, 1923, killing about 105,000 people. This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The damage from this natural disaster was the greatest sustained by prewar Japan.

The force of The Great Kantō earthquake was so great in Kamakura, over 37 miles (60 km) from the epicenter, it moved the Great Buddha statue, which weighs about 93 short tons (84,000 kg), almost two feet.

Destruction of the area around Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa

In 1960, the Japanese government declared September 1, the anniversary of the quake, as an annual "Disaster Prevention Day".

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake of May 22, 1960 was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating a magnitude of 9.5. The epicenter was near Lumaco, Chile, south of Santiago, with Valdivia being the most affected city. The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia and the Aleutian Islands. Various estimates of the total number of fatalities from the earthquake and tsunamis have been published, ranging between 1,000 and 6,000 killed.

A Valdivia street after the earthquake of 22 May 1960

The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in USA history at a magnitude of 9.2, killed 125 people in South Central Alaska on March 27, 1964 and inflicted massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

Damage to Fourth Avenue,, Anchorage

An earthquake in the Indian ocean off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004 was the second largest in recorded history, with a magnitude of 9.3. One of the largest observed tsunamis followed, with waves over 100 feet high, which killed approximately 250,000 people in the coastal areas of South East Asia and Indonesia.

An earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on February 27, 2010  at 03:34 local time with a magnitude of 8.8. The intense shaking lasting for about three minutes and it caused the city of Concepción to move 10 feet to the west. The quake triggered a tsunami which struck Hawaii shortly after.

An earthquake hit central Chile on March 11, 2010. It struck just minutes before Economist and businessman Sebastián Piñera was sworn in as the country's President at the National Congress of Chile (see below). It measured  magnitude 6.9 and was centered next to Pichilemu, capital of Cardenal Caro Province. President Piñera cancelled the ceremonial lunch with his visitors and traveled to Rancagua, one of the cities most affected by the earthquake.

By Gobierno de Chile, CC BY 3.0 cl, Wikipedia Commons

When Peru’s national football team qualified for the 2018 World Cup, their fans’ celebrations were so loud that they produced enough of a seismic wave to trigger earthquake alerts in its capital city Lima.

Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. They are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can.

According to recent research, both rats and toads flee an area before an earthquake hits.

The Earth experiences about 50,000 earthquakes each year.

Seismophobia is the fear of earthquakes.

A -.2 magnitude earthquake releases the energy equivalent of 30 matches being lit.

The power of a magnitude nine earthquake is equal to 4 trillion pounds of TNT exploding.

The moon is seismically active, so it experiences moonquakes that last for up to 10 minutes. Because it’s so dry and dense, they make it vibrate like a tuning fork.

Source Daily Express

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