Thursday, March 4, 2010

Earth Matters #1: Is Mother Earth Out of Control?

The recent 7.0 Richter scale Haiti earthquake that struck the country January this year has taken a heart-wrenching 200,000 death tolls and is expected to rise. 300,000 injured and left 1,000,000 and more, homeless. Too many numbers, way too scary.

Only after a month, in fact just last week, the thunderous 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile. This was the strongest earthquake affecting Chile since the 9.5-magnitude 1960 Valdivia earthquake and the strongest after the 9.1-magnitude 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The latter earthquake has taken less lives than the Haiti earthquake, but still the impact of the disaster as declared by the President Michelle Bachelet as a "state of catastrophe".

It really got me thinking:

  1. The last 10 years have been really disastrous, as far as Mother Earth is concerned. Even the fact that Malaysia is geographically off the Pacific Ring of Fire, the recent massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile "may have changed the entire earth's rotation and shifted Earth's axis." (*source:
  2. The most deadly disasters of the 2000 decade were the Indian Ocean Tsunami, which hit several countries in Asia (2004) leaving 226,408 dead; Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,366 people in Myanmar (2008); and the Sichuan earthquake in China (2008), causing the deaths of 87,476 people. 73,338 people were also killed in the earthquake in Pakistan (2005) and 72,210 in heat waves in Europe (2003). If you look at it, only one happened outside Asia (heat waves in Europe). And yet still, nearly 60 percent of people killed from natural disasters caused by earthquakes. (*source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction)
  3. The numbers of earthquakes for the last 10 years or so increased more than 40 percent. Not to forget, the strength as well. Remember that the earthquakes are on a logarithmic scale; an earthquake of 5.0-magnitude is ten times higher than 4.0, and a 6.0-magnitude is 100 times more powerful than a 4.0. (*source: U.S Geological Survey via Lingkungan Hijau)
  4. Of the top ten largest earthquakes by magnitude, six of it happened from year 1900 onwards. (*source: List of earthquakes from Wikipedia)

To be continued...

Dem yuh!

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