Earthquakes: Dangerous & Natural Energy

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Earthquakes: Dangerous & Natural Energy

William Jacoby

Kaplan University Online

SC-300 Big Ideas in Science

Professor Hall

March 8, 2010

There are patterns in the distribution of earthquakes in the continental United States; they can be noted in the following ways. There is an area in the southern part of the Midwest around the borders of Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee areas that is more at risk than other areas of the country, as well as the California coast (the San Andreas Fault) and an area in the Wyoming/Idaho area. These aforementioned areas are rating anywhere from a 10, 20 or 40 percent on the USGS National Hazards Map with rippling areas of lesser intensity going outward from these points.

I am located in Lancaster County, PA; and my area on the same map is at a low risk for earthquakes. The map tells me there is an approximate 2% chance of there being an earthquake here within the next 50 years.

As we switch our attention to this activity on a world wide scale we notice the following things. The patterns of distribution of earthquakes are centered in the areas where the Earth’s tectonic plates meet mostly. I decided to look at a recent earthquake that took place in the region of Antofagasta, Chile on Thursday March 4, 2010; it was a magnitude 6.3.

I would not be willing to live in an over active area (by the standards of the USGS) for fear of impending doom on a daily basis. If I was forced to move to one of these areas for one reason or the other, I would prepare myself in the following manner. I would utilize the available resources to me from the USGS’s readiness links, I would have a 30 day supply of bottled water and canned food on the premises, have an emergency kit (fire extinguisher, first aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, basic tools and a battery operated radio), have an emergency evacuation plan for my family and a well planned out evacuation route as well.

In looking at the list of the deadliest and most...

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