| Thursday, December 30, 2004
| WHOLE LOTTO SHAKING GOING ON
the Nazca plate is smashing into the Peru-chile
trench, just offshore, producing the Andes,
city-sweeping tsunamis, and full employment for
construction contractors. With a history of quakes
in the 7's and 8's, Lima beans, better keep praying
to their patron saint, Christ of the Earthquake.
A 7.9 in 1970 killed 66,000. They're due for another.
2... ATHENS, GREECE
With the Africa plate jamming into the Eurasian plate
and the Aegean Sea plate stretching like taffy, the
Parthenon's home has faced eight shakers of 5.9 or higher
in the past 50 years. Plus, the giant fault that wreacks
havoc in Turkey ends at Athens doorsteps, so convulsion
is the 7's coild easily be in the works. No wonder they
3... GREAT RIFT VALLEY, AFRICA
The eastern horn is tearing away from the rest of the
continent, and the Indian Ocean will flood the rift valley
in the blink of a geologic eye( within the next few million
years, to us) Forget that Brookstone massage chair; just lie
on the ground in western Uganda, where 200 magnitude 3.0 plus
shakers hit every night.
4... TEHRAN, IRAN
Given the capital's magnitude fault lines, geologist
predict a 6.0 could kill a million and destroy 65 percent of
the town's buildings. In the past century, 20 big quakes in
the region have been taken 140,000 lives. After a 2003 shock
in Bam killed more than 30,000, the Iranian government
explored moving the captital to a safer location.
5... KATMANDU, NEPAL
Nothing spells disaster like a rapidly developed, densely
populated city with no building codes,perched high atop the
rammed-up Himalayas and rimmed with fault lines. The last big
one hit 8.5 miles away but still managed to kill 4,500 Kamadudes
in 1934.With magnitude 8 quakes hitting about every 75 years,
somethings gotta give, soon.
6... TOKYO, JAPAN
Located where the Pacific and Philippine plates plunge under
the Eurasian plate, Tokyo has a quake in 1923 that killed 143,000
people. Some estimate the next one could level 500,000 buldings,
causing $7 trillion in damages. The 6.8 shaker in nearby Nagaoka
last October was a warning. So was scientist calling Tokyo
"city waiting to die".
7... YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
A "supervolcano", Yellowstone is suceptible to tremors; a 2002
Alaskan quake caused 250 mini quakes here in 24 hours. And it's
known to spew hundreds of cubic miles of North America every
600,000 years, coating most real estate west of the Mississippi
in ash. The last ash spew? Just over 600,00 years ago!
Satellite indicate the entire south side of the Kilauea volcano
is shifting seaward. Quakes in 1868 and 1975 gave it huge shoves,
and magma continues to widen the rift, threatening the Big Island's
158,000 plus residents. When the next one strikes, a gnarly tsunami
could reach all the way to South America.
9... SAN FRANCISCO AREA
In 1906, an 8.3 quake and resulting fires trashed the city.
But it aint over. Officials believe another trembler could topple
the Bay Bridge and flood the tube that carries commmuter trains
under the bay and experts estimates a 1906 level one could cause
$225 billion in damages.
10.. MEXICO CITY
Built on a filled in lake, the city jiggled like jell-o for
four minutes when the last big quake hit in 1983--even though
the epicenter was over 200 miles away. Straddling a fault line
and sitting beneath the active Popocatepetl volcano can't help
It quakes conincide with an eruption. 21 million metro area
Mexicans could be totally incinerated.
The rockingest earthquakes in recorded history.
TANGSHAN, CHINA, 1976
The deadliest quake of the 20th century, this 7.8 took 20
seconds to level nearly every building in the area, reducing
the population by a full third. Official Chinese estimates
tried to downplay the tragedy givng death toll of 255,000;
later estimates put the figures in 655,000.
COAST OF CHILE, 1960
The biggest quake ever recorded (9.5) shook coastal South
America enough to launch one of the largest Tsunamis in
500 years, leveling Hilo, Hawaii and surging all the way to
Japan and the Philippines. It killed 5,700 and set the planet
vibrating like a gong.
LISBON, PORTUGAL , 1755
A 9.0 shook the city for seven full munutes. The harbor drained
out, then rushed back in to flood the town. Two more quakes
hit within two hours. Death toll: 60,000.
SHENSI, CHINA, 1556
The original killer quake was an 8.0 doozie that claimed 830,000
lives. Sadly hardly anyone live to take notes.
At least 80 percent of earthquake deaths
results from collapsing buildings. Tremors
can also bust open dams and trigger floods,
making you seriously regret getting that
nice place by the river.
Mudslides cause much of the death toll in
Central and South American quakes. Then
there are tremor induced avalanches.
A 7.7 in the mountains of northern Peru
buried a town in 1970 killing 20,000.
Major quakes can shift the ocean several
meters, initiating tsunamis, which start
small before smacking into cities at 500 mph.
ROOFS OF FIRE
If huge fires from busted gas and electric
lines ignite and the quake brakes your city's
water mains, you can always pump water from the
bay like San Franciscans did in 1989.
Tremblers near volacanoes can set off eruptions
of superhot gas and ash. Glaciers can melt into
"lahars" volcanic mudflows that travel more than 30 mph.
(Abstracted from MAXIMMAG by Katie Claypoole)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 5:48 AM