Earthquakes? But I Don’t Live in
California; Do I Have to Be Prepared?
Earthquakes are an alarming and destructive force of nature to be reckoned with. Provoked by sudden energy-releasing shifts in the earth’s crust, they cause widespread property damage, as well as significant injuries and fatalities. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, (USGS) more than 500,000 earthquakes occur worldwide every year. People can feel about 10,000 of these and around 100 damaging quakes strike annually.
In the United States, the most frequent serious earthquakes occur along the California bay areas. However, you aren’t immune to quakes by living elsewhere.
Fault lines and plate movement across the United States prompt earthquakes in many regions.
Hawaii: Other earthquake hot spots include Hawaii, which suffered a 7.9 quake in 1868, along with seven others of significance since that time. 250 million dollars in damages was caused by the most recent- a 6.7 magnitude event in 2006 that destroyed buildings, prevented travel and left many without power and phone lines.
Alaska: An epic 1964 earthquake of 9.2 occurred in Alaska. Though damage from the quake itself caused upheavals of land (several as great as 38 feet), it was the 122 foot tsunami that claimed most of the 128 lives. Tsunami fatalities were reported as distantly as Crescent City, California, which sits over 1,600 miles away.
Alaska continues to experience strong quakes due to geological events related to the Denali Fault. A 30 mile fissure in 2004 which appeared after a 7.9 earthquake bears evidence of this. Geologists express concern for Anchorage, Survival Earthquake Kit the state’s center for transportation and commerce. Travel, both in and out of the state, could be seriously disrupted if Anchorage were affected. This could slow supplies and aid from timely arrival, as well as preventing evacuation.
Midwest: On April 18, 2008 Midwesterners were startled by the shaking of a 5.2 magnitude earthquake’s effects. Though it was centered in southern Illinois, residents as far away as Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa reported feeling the quake. Minor property damage was sustained in several middle states and one building in St. Louis suffered severe damage. Many in the Midwest were shocked to learn they live within close proximity to a network of active seismic zones. In recent history, the New Madrid fault has produced diminutive quakes, many of which were too slight to be noticed.
First Aid Kit for Safety Preparedness
However, in 1811 and 1812, a series of 7.0 quakes rocked the area, even causing far off church bells on the eastern coast to ring. There exists potential for a future serious earthquake, though pinning a time table on quake events is a complex process. Some estimates predict a 7-10 percent risk of a 7.5-8.0 in the next 50 years. Most concerning is the lack of building compliance and community preparedness that could claim countless lives in this region.
Utah: Earthquakes of significance can occur in mountain areas, as well as coastal and flat Midwestern areas. Over 80 percent (1.6 million) of Utah’s population lives with 15 miles of one of the longest active faults in the U.S., the Wasatch Fault. This impressive multi-segmented 240 mile fault line cuts a north/south path through the state and is responsible for one severe 7.5 magnitude earthquake roughly every 350 years. Many geologists believe the area is overdue for a serious event, though probability is difficult to predicate.
Pacific North West: Located 50 miles off shore of Oregon and Washington (as well as British Columbia) lies the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This geological nightmare, according to researchers, is very capable of causing an earthquake of 9.0 as it has in 1700. Affected would be the major cities of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver as well as other coastal areas hit with resulting tsunamis. Devastation could be horrific due to building structure and dense population of these metropolitan spots.
For most people, thankfully, the likelihood of experiencing Earthquake Survival Kit a serious earthquake is minimal. But don’t underestimate preparation for your family.Even minor earthquakes can represent a hazard to human life. Shaking buildings, falling objects and shifting to pose a threat in any quake scenario. In addition, severe earthquakes can produce slope failures, soil liquefaction and flooding, as well as utility failure and fires from gas line ruptures.
Earthquakes can strike without warning, day or night and are common occurrences. Though the average length of time for a quake is only a few moments, its effects can be felt for a lifetime. The USGS puts this data another way- “There is a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today.” Are you ready?
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