Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Natural Disasters - Part Two - Earthquakes

Most people when you mention the word earthquake automatically think of California. This can be a dangerous misconception as earthquakes aren't just for California any more! The risk of an earthquake can quite literally affect the entire U.S. They can happen anywhere from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast and and along the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska.

The Pacific Coast

It's just a matter of time before another large earthquake strikes the Pacific Coast of the U.S. somewhere between California and Canada. Although an earthquake would be locally catastrophic, an even bigger threat would come from the tsunami that would result due to a fault line that's seismically identical to the tsunami that occurred in Indonesia in 2004.

The Midwest

Many geologists have also warned of the risk of an earthquake in the area between southeastern Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. This region was shaken by three large earthquakes in the early 1800s. All three earthquakes were at or near a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale.

The Gulf Coast

Many people are also unaware that a large fault line exists in the Caribbean that has generated deadly tsunamis that could endanger the lives of millions of people along the Gulf Coast.

The East Coast

With the advent of new satellite imagery, few residents of the densely populated Northeast Coast realize that they also live in an earthquake zone. These fault lines are not as active as the ones found in California and the West Coast. There is a lack of sufficient historical information on earthquakes for this area of the U.S. Very little is known about these faults because there is very little information about when the last "big one" occurred.

A list of the Top 10 U.S. earthquakes for all 50 states can be found here:

One of the best and most comprehensive earthquake survival guides (56k beware - 1.79MB file) can be found here:

Earthquake Emergency Preparedness Guide

Staying above the water line!



scoutinlife said...

Intereristing post the last major earth here in OHIO was in 1937 a 5.3 on the scale...

The last timeI felt a earthquake here in Ohio was June 10, 1987 in the evening..

riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

I had an earthquake in my area (less than 50 miles away) just a few months back. I didn't realize just how many minor quakes are happening until I started checking into it. If there was a tsunami in the Gulf Coast due to the Carribean fault, Ike would look like water splashing out of the tub!


riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

BTW, magnitude was less than 3.0 on the Richter....


kookster said...

I used to live in California and in school we had 'earthquake drills' as opposed to fire drills. During these drills you would dive under your desk and crouch in the fetal position with your back facing the ceiling and your hands covering the back of your neck. I also remember them telling us that standing in a doorway is one of the safest places you can be during an earthquake. Now experts say that's an urban myth and they were putting all the school children at risk by teaching it. Go figure.

riverwalker said...

To: kookster

I went through the old "atom bomb" drills when I was in school - pretty similar stuff. Wouldn't really help much if something did go wrong, probably just meant to help people feel like they were doing something positive.


oaktown said...

Isn't it funny that an earthquake has been talked about, and then theres a possibility of 5 that could happen, and oh, right before elections. Well i guess we'll have to deal with it, like any other "attack". Thanks BA

riverwalker said...

To: BA

Politicians & the media have to keep reminding us of all the bad things that can happen so we'll know how important and valuable they are so they can be re-alected.
I prepare for everything.

Thanks for the insight!


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