Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fifteen Years of Deadly Earthquakes in One Video

Huge, devastating earthquakes that reach 8 or 9 on the Richter scale are relatively rare. But every day, hundreds of smaller earthquakes occur all over the world. The US National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center released a video showing every single recorded earthquake for the past 15 years, from the start of 2001 up to the end of 2015.
There are a few moments that stand out from the video. In late 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck Sumatra, and in 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Japan. This second quake was the one that damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant.
This video also makes the dangers of fracking readily apparent. Starting in 2007, when fracking became widespread, small earthquakes became a regular occurrence throughout the inland U.S.
Another alarming fact is the almost complete lack of earthquakes near California. Small earthquakes are a way for the fault lines to relieve stress, and without them, the built-up energy just keeps increasing. Scientists have been warning that a massive earthquake will strike the California coast sometime in the next few decades.

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