Sunday, April 17, 2016

Earthquake Month. What should I do before, during, and after an earthquake? Remember Japan Earthquake (April 12, 2011) and Nepal Earthquake April 25, 2015

Over 900,000 earthquakes occur worldwide each year. Fortunately, the vast majority of them are magnitude 2.5 or less, and great earthquakes (magnitude 8.0 or more) only happen about once every 5 to 10 years. Not anymore. Global warming continues to raise the sea level causing strain on the earth's crust. Plates inevitably and unpredictably move along their faultlines or fissures under such tremendous pressure resulting in more frequent, and more severe earthquakes. 

Dr Abe V Rotor

Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class Mon to Fri

Five Major Earthquakes in a Row (April 13 to 18, 2016)

  • Zamboanga del Norte April 14, 2016 (6.0)
  • Myanmar earthquake April 13 and 15 (7.0 - 7.8)
  • Southern Japan April 15, 2016 (7.0)
  • Ecuador Earthquake April 16, 2016 (7.8)
  • Tonga, April 18, 2016 (6.1)

Earthquake intensity is geometrical. Five earthquakes which took place in a span of one week (Myanmar, Zamboanga del Norte, Southern Japan, Ecuador, and lately Tonga,  fall under the deadly range of 6 to 8. 

The Fukoshima earthquake of April 11, 2011 which triggered a super tsunami killing thousands across its path was measured about 9 and 10. In Japan alone there were 15,894 deaths, 6,152 injured, and 2,562 people missing, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation. The World Bank's estimated economic cost was US$235 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in world history.


 Southern Japan earthquake April 16 2016 photos (Internet)


Earthquake measuring 6.9 in magnitude jolts Myanmar, tremors felt in parts of India 

 What to Do Before an Earthquake

  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries at home.
  • Learn first aid.
  • Learn how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity.
  • Make up a plan of where to meet your family after an earthquake.
  • Don't leave heavy objects on shelves (they'll fall during a quake).
  • Anchor heavy furniture, cupboards, and appliances to the walls or floor.
  • Learn the earthquake plan at your school or workplace.

What to Do During an Earthquake

  • Stay calm! If you're indoors, stay inside. If you're outside, stay outside.
  • If you're indoors, stand against a wall near the center of the building, stand in a doorway, or crawl under heavy furniture (a desk or table). Stay away from windows and outside doors.
  • If you're outdoors, stay in the open away from power lines or anything that might fall. Stay away from buildings (stuff might fall off the building or the building could fall on you).
  • Don't use matches, candles, or any flame. Broken gas lines and fire don't mix.
  • If you're in a car, stop the car and stay inside the car until the earthquake stops.
  • Don't use elevators (they'll probably get stuck anyway).

What to Do After an Earthquake

  • Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it.
  • Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else's phone).
  • Turn on the radio. Don't use the phone unless it's an emergency.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Be careful around broken glass and debris. Wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
  • Be careful of chimneys (they may fall on you).
  • Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis and seiches sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking.
  • Stay away from damaged areas.
  • If you're at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge.
  • Expect aftershocks.
What to Do to Help
  • Extend assistance without delay. Join rescue and medical teams.
  • Assist in the emergency operations.
  • Donate, send fastest means, preferably through reliable organizations. 
  • Help defuse fear and anxiety, boost morale and restore hope among families of victims and children.  
  • Use social media to connect and reach out. Be part of a continuing rehabilitation.
 Ecuador Earthquake April 17, 2016 photos from the Internet

Equador April 17, 2016 eathquake (Internet photos). Death toll jumps to 238; more than 1,500 injured as of this writing.

 Tonga Earthquake 6.1 April 18, 2016


 Nepal Earthquake April 25, 2015 photos from the Internet

Aftermath of 7.8 earthquake in Nepal,  April 25, 2015
There were  more than 100 aftershocks that have occurred since the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015. The largest aftershock is a magnitude 7.3 on May 12, 2015
Acknowledgement: Internet photos.  

At least 3,617 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday, police say. More than 6,500 people have been injured, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre. Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring China and India. More than 200 climbers have been rescued around Mount Everest, which was struck by deadly avalanches in the 7.8-magnitude quake. 

Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continued. Thousands spent Sunday night - their second night - outside.Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal. Initial reports suggest that many communities, especially those close to mountainsides, suffered significant quake damage. BBC.

Animals are uneasy before an earthquake strikes

Paco fish at home

There was something very peculiar with our fish pets at home before a massive earthquake hit Japan and caused a deadly tsunami last March 11, 2011.
For three consecutive days our Paco and Hito (catfish) in our garden ponds refused to eat, and were uneasy as if looking for a way to get out of their confinement. All of a sudden I felt they were no longer tame. They were jittery and nervous. Were they telling me of something?

I thought it was the water getting foul with an over growth of green algae. But it was not. I changed their food with another brand. And feed them at any opportunity. Still they didn't respond. I felt sorry for them if they would inevitably end up on the grill. Which my children and I adamantly decided. Our hito, five of them, have been our pet for some three years now, while our paco, ten for them, make easily one kilo each.

Then a flash news came. Japan was hit by the worst earthquake in living memory with an intensity up to 9.0 - so strong it made the earth's rotation faster, and the Japan plate to move.

I remember when Chile was hit by an 8.0 earthquake (which increased the tilt of the earth), our hito which were a year old then, exhibited the same behavior as they did before the Japan earthquake.
Can animals - and other living things for that matter - predict the coming of an earthquake? I know there are organisms that warn us of a coming rain (hovering horde of dragonflies), or flood (earthworm abandoning their burrows and moving to higher ground - PHOTO). A colony of ants on the move with their young and eggs means siyam-siyam (nepnep Ilk) has arrived. This is characterized by nine days of continuous rain, followed by another nine with a respite of good weather in between. Even plants warn us of a coming drought, such as the kapok when it is heavily laden with pods.

This is the expertise of old folks, and scientists agree with them to a certain extent based on scientific evidences.

Animals are sensitive to the vibrations preceding an earthquake. They perceive the small numerous crackling of the earth before the final break (tectonic), which is the earthquake. As a means of self-preservation they try to escape from stables and pens, seek shelter, run to higher grounds, or simply escape to areas far from the source of the impending earthquake.

Snakes come out of their abode, reptiles move away from the water, horses neigh and kick around, elephants seem to defy the command of their masters (like in the case of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka). We humans can only detect such minute movements on our inventions such as the Richter Scale.

More about Nature’s Biological Early Warning System

• When jellyfish come to the surface of the sea there is an earthquake or tsunami coming - PHOTO. It is when the epicenter of an earthquake occurs under the sea that tsunami may follow. Marine animals as well as land animals can detect minute tremors preceding an earthquake. Because of this they seek for safe areas usually moving upward shallower waters. (NOTE: Such vibrations are generally imperceptible to humans. They are monitored by his invention, the Seismograph, instead.)

• When cockroaches are flying about, there are plenty of fish to catch. This is not limited to cockroaches (PHOTO). Other insects do swarm at certain stages or seasons of the year. For example, termites swarm at the onset of the heavy rains (monsoon or habagat); honeybees swarm when the queen bee dies, or when a new queen is produced from an old hive. Gnats or gamu-gamu swarm when their population shoot up due to freedom from predators. Locusts coalesce and migrate if driven by drought that destroys their source of food. Fish are abundant when there are plenty of insects since insects constitute their main food.

• Sporadic and massive brush fire accompanies dry spell or predicts the coming of the El Niño phenomenon. Usually it is at the end of the rainy season that grasses like talahib (Saccharum officinarum) and cogon (Imperata cylindrica) reach the end of their life cycle. In the absence of subsequent rains, these ignite into brush fire, so bad in certain cases that even trees and whole forest burn. Worst scenarios are forest fires as what happen in Australia last 2006, and Indonesia in 2000, the latter sending smoke as far as the Philippines.

Let's heed the biological signals of animals, which contributed to their fitness to survive evolution - and become part of our living world. Indeed they are living sentinels of the dangers we face. ~

Reference: Living with Nature, AV Rotor

Largest Earthquakes in the World Since 1900

The lists and statistics on this webpage have not been updated since December 2012. Many of these will be updated and available when we have completed the transition into the new earthquake database. We hope to provide this sometime in 2015.
Largest Earthquakes in the World Since 1900
KML file Google Earth KML

Location Date UTC Magnitude Lat. Long. Reference
1. Chile 1960 05 22 9.5 -38.29 -73.05 Kanamori, 1977
2. 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake 1964 03 28 9.2 61.02 -147.65 Kanamori, 1977
3. Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra 2004 12 26 9.1 3.30 95.78 Park et al., 2005
4. Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan 2011 03 11 9.0 38.322 142.369 PDE
5. Kamchatka 1952 11 04 9.0 52.76 160.06 Kanamori, 1977
6. Offshore Maule, Chile 2010 02 27 8.8 -35.846 -72.719 PDE
7. Off the Coast of Ecuador 1906 01 31 8.8 1.0 -81.5 Kanamori, 1977
8. Rat Islands, Alaska 1965 02 04 8.7 51.21 178.50 Kanamori, 1977
9. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia 2005 03 28 8.6 2.08 97.01 PDE
10. Assam - Tibet 1950 08 15 8.6 28.5 96.5 Kanamori, 1977
11. Off the west coast of northern Sumatra 2012 04 11 8.6 2.311 93.063 PDE
12. Andreanof Islands, Alaska 1957 03 09 8.6 51.56 -175.39 Johnson et al., 1994
13. Southern Sumatra, Indonesia 2007 09 12 8.5 -4.438 101.367 PDE
14. Banda Sea, Indonesia 1938 02 01 8.5 -5.05 131.62 Okal and Reymond, 2003
15. Kamchatka 1923 02 03 8.5 54.0 161.0 Kanamori, 1988
16. Chile-Argentina Border 1922 11 11 8.5 -28.55 -70.50 Kanamori, 1977
17. Kuril Islands 1963 10 13 8.5 44.9 149.6 Kanamori, 1977

Deadliest earthquakes on record
Deadliest earthquakes
1556 Shaanxi earthquake
January 23, 1556
Shaanxi, China
820,000–830,000 (est.)
8.0 (est.)
Estimated death toll in Shaanxi, China.
1976 Tangshan earthquake
July 28, 1976
Hebei, China

1920 Haiyuan earthquake
December 16, 1920
Ningxia–Gansu, China
Major fractures, landslides.
526 Antioch earthquake
May 21, 526
Antioch, Turkey (then Byzantine Empire)
7.0 (est.)
Procopius (II.14.6), sources based on John of Ephesus.
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
December 26, 2004
Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia
Deaths from earthquake and resulting tsunami.
1138 Aleppo earthquake
October 11, 1138
Aleppo, Syria
The figure of 230,000 dead is based on a historical conflation of this earthquake with earthquakes in November 1137 on the Jazira plain and on September 30, 1139 in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. The first mention of a 230,000 death toll was by Ibn Taghribirdi in the fifteenth century.
2010 Haiti earthquake
January 12, 2010
Estimates vary from 316,000 (Haitian government) to 222,570 (UN OCHA estimate) to 158,000 (Medicine, Conflict and Survival) to between 85,000 and 46,000 (report commissioned by USAID).
1303 Hongdong earthquake
September 25, 1303
Shanxi, China
200,000 (est.)
8.0 (est.)
Taiyuan and Pingyang were leveled.
856 Damghan earthquake
December 22, 856
Damghan, Iran
200,000 (est.)
7.9 Ms (est.)

893 Ardabil earthquake
March 22, 893
Ardabil, Iran
150,000 (est.)
Reports probably relate to the 893 Dvin earthquake, due to misreading of the Arabic word for Dvin, 'Dabil' as 'Ardabil'. This is regarded as a 'fake earthquake'.
533 Aleppo Earthquake
November 29, 533

1908 Messina earthquake
December 28, 1908
Messina, Italy
The ground shook for 30 to 40 seconds around 5:20 am, and destruction occurred within a 300 km radius. 93% of structures in Messina were destroyed and ~70,000 residents died. Rescuers searched for weeks, and whole families were pulled out alive days later. A 40-foot (12 m) tsunami struck nearby coasts. Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland also suffered heavy damage.
1948 Ashgabat earthquake
October 6, 1948
Ashgabat, Turkmen SSR (modern-day Turkmenistan)

1923 Great Kantō earthquake
September 1, 1923
Kantō region, Japan
This earthquake with an epicenter beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay, shook the Kantō plain on the Japanese island of Honshū at 11:58 am. Shaking duration reported between 4 and 10 minutes, devastating Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka.[5Shaking slid the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura almost two feet forward. Casualty estimates range from 100,000 to 142,800, the latter figure including ~40,000 missing later presumed dead.
1290 Chihli earthquake
September 27, 1290
Ningcheng, China
6.8 Ms

2005 Kashmir earthquake
October 8, 2005
Muzaffarabad, Pakistan
Affecting an area (mostly rugged terrain) of about 30,000 km2 [11,600 sq mi], this earthquake damaged about 6,440 km [4,000 mi] of roads, and 50-70% of services, including power, water and sanitation. Approximately 400,153 houses, 6,298 schools and 796 health facilities were damaged or destroyed (UN 2006). Death toll estimates range from 86,000-87,351, with approximately 138,000 seriously injured and 3.5 million people displaced.

Acknowledgement: USGS Internet 

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