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Bizarro Earth

Japan: Tohoku Earthquake Shaking Intensity

Japan Quake Zone
© Earth Observatory, NASA
NASA Earth Observatory Image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using data from the USGS Earthquakes Hazard Program and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Geographic Information Science and Technology.
On March 11, 2011, the largest earthquake in Japan's modern history struck off the northeast coast, about 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of the mainland region of Tohoku. Initially categorized as magnitude 8.9, the quake was later revised upward to magnitude 9.0 by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The event shook buildings and damaged infrastructure hundreds of kilometers away. Closer to the main shock, coastal regions were devastated by the quake and the resulting tsunami.

This map shows the ground motion and shaking intensity from the earthquake at dozens of locations across Japan. Each circle represents an estimate of shaking as recorded by the USGS, in conjunction with regional seismic networks. Shades of pale yellow represent the lowest intensity and deep red represents high intensity. The ground shaking data is overlaid on a map of population density provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A shaking intensity of VI is considered "strong" and can produce "light damage," while a IX on the scale is described as "violent" and likely to produce "heavy damage." The pattern of shaking appears to run parallel to the offshore subduction trench, with the intensity decreasing more from east to west, as opposed to north and south. Ground motion also seems to be more intense in coastal and riverine areas, where settlements are built on softer sediments and less bedrock.

Alarm Clock

40ft Section Of California Highway Falls Into Pacific Ocean


Part of the highway that fell into the Pacific ocean on March 16th 2011
A stretch of California's coastal highway is closed to traffic indefinitely after a chunk of the road fell into the Pacific Ocean.

State transportation workers are scrambling to repair Highway 1 in Monterey County near Rocky Creek Bridge.

A 40-foot section of the two-lane highway crumbled just after 5 p.m. Wednesday following several days of rainy weather. All of the southbound lane is gone, and the soil under the northbound lane also is giving way.

The California Highway Patrol says no one was injured in the slide.

It's not immediately clear what caused the slide or how long the highway will be closed.

Comment: If people in the California area are not awake enough to take these VERY strong indicators that the West Coast of the USA is next in line for a major quake then what can ANYONE do to help them?


Canada: 4.3-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Western Quebec

© unknown
Seismologist Fiona Ann Darbyshire says the area around western Quebec and eastern Ontario experience hundreds of small earthquakes a year, but they're usually quite smaller.
A 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck an area covering eastern Ontario and western Quebec Wednesday afternoon, with people from Ottawa to the Greater Montreal Region reporting that they felt the temblor.

Natural Resources Canada says the quake was centered in Hawkesbury, Ont. -- not Lachute, Que., as had earlier been reported. It struck at about 1:36 p.m. ET and lasted about 10 seconds.

There were no reports so far of any damage.

Viewers from across the region have been emailing CTV.ca to say they felt the earth shake beneath their feet. One reader sent an email to CTV News saying she felt a tremor in Ste-Adele, Ste-Anne de Lacs in the Laurentians. Another said she felt a "deep rumble" around 1:35 p.m. in Orleans, Ont., that lasted a "full minute."

Last summer, a 5.0-magnitude quake rattled Ontario, Quebec, and parts of the northeastern United States, sending some residents running into the streets. That quake's epicentre was about 56 kilometres northeast of Ottawa.

Just like last year's shaker, Wednesday's earthquake brought down the website for Earthquakes Canada as Canadians rushed to the site for information.

Bizarro Earth

Vanuatu: Earthquake Magnitude 6.3

Vanuatu Quake_170311
Earthquake Location
Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 02:48:02 UTC

Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 01:48:02 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

17.364°S, 167.696°E

26.6 km (16.5 miles)


77 km (47 miles) WNW of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu

210 km (130 miles) SSE of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

293 km (182 miles) NW of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu

1880 km (1168 miles) NE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia

Evil Rays

Australia: Quake adds to north's disasters

© Unknown
FIRST it was a cyclone, then flooding, and then came the earthquake.

At 4.08pm yesterday a magnitude-4 earthquake struck about 30km off the coast of Innisfail, in far north Queensland, an area already hard hit by Cyclone Yasi last month and inundated by torrential monsoon rains.

Locals reported the quake to Geosciences Australia from Innisfail, Gordonvale and even Cairns, 70km away from its epicentre.

It was insufficient to cause a tsunami and there were no early reports of damage but locals took to Twitter to bemoan the recent trifecta of natural disasters. Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jepsen said it would have produced "a bit of a shake" and "some rattling of windows" in the Innisfail area.

He ruled out any connection to recent earthquakes in Christchurch or Japan, saying those incidents were too far away to generate a far north Queensland quake.

Bizarro Earth

And the aftershocks go on: 275 new tremors hit quake-torn Japan as fears grow for missing 10,000 in flattened port town

  • 42 survivors have been pulled out of the rubble
  • Official death toll hits 1,597, but many hundreds believed to be buried under rubble or washed away by waves
  • Toll will soar after around 2,000 bodies were found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture
  • Second explosion at nuclear power plant
  • Number of people contaminated with radiation could reach 160
  • Region hit by hundreds of aftershocks, some up to 6.8-magnitude
  • Rescue operation begins but some areas still cut off by road damage and flood waters
  • 70,000 people evacuated to shelters in Sendai
Forty-two survivors have been pulled from the rubble in the flattened town of Minami Sanrik, where up to 10,000 people are feared to have perished.

Around half the town's 18,000 residents are missing but search and rescue teams are still working desperately through the rubble to try and find more people.

Police are also trying to stop people returning to their homes.

Despite the first tsunami warning being issued to the town that lies two miles from the coastline, some residents decided to stay in their homes instead of fleeing - leading to the high number of missing people, CNN reported today..

Most of the houses in Minami Sanriku have been completely flattened and waterlogged and one house was found even with seaweed inside.

Villagers carry relief goods in Minami Sanriku, the worst-hit area where almost 10,000 people have gone missing
Japanese home guard help survivors to safety in the flooded town of Minami Sanriku

Bizarro Earth

Geophysicists Worry Quake is Not The Last

The unusually high number of aftershocks following Japan's strongest ever earthquake last Friday has caused concern among geophysicists that it may actually be a chain of separate quakes.

Ring of Fire
© POSTgraphics
Michio Hashizume, a Japanese geology expert working with Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Science, said his contemporaries in Japan are wondering if the string of tremors felt around the county since Friday's 9.0-magnitude are actually aftershocks.

"We are questioning if they are really aftershocks, because in theory they should happen close to the epicentre, but this time, [some of] the [following] earthquakes have happened far from the epicentre," Mr Hashizume said.

"We are thinking the 9.0 earthquake may have triggered a chain of earthquakes. If so, we expect more earthquakes, possibly as strong as magnitude 7, within the next three days."

The geologists are concerned about the possibility of another big earthquake soon, which could create another tsunami, he said.

Alarm Clock

How the Japan Earthquake Shortened Days on Earth

The massive earthquake that struck northeast Japan Friday (March 11) has shortened the length Earth's day by a fraction and shifted how the planet's mass is distributed.

This map shows the location of the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan, as well as the foreshocks (dotted lines), including a 7.2-magnitude event on March 9, and aftershocks (solid lines). The size of each circle represents the magnitude of the associated quake or shock.

A new analysis of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan has found that the intense temblor has accelerated Earth's spin, shortening the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds, according to geophysicist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Gross refined his estimates of the Japan quake's impact - which previously suggested a 1.6-microsecond shortening of the day - based on new data on how much the fault that triggered the earthquake slipped to redistribute the planet's mass. A microsecond is a millionth of a second. [Photos: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Pictures]


Japan earthquake, tsunami death toll likely above 10,000; survivors worry about supplies

© Unknown
Tokyo - Overwhelmed by a still-growing catastrophe, Japanese authorities struggled Monday to reach buried survivors and the missing, faced roadblocks in delivering aid and raced to contain an expanding nuclear emergency.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan called the crisis the country's toughest challenge since World War II and said that decimated towns along the northeastern coastline were not yet getting the food and supplies they needed.

A series of unstable nuclear plants across the country threatened to compound the nation's difficulties, which started with Friday's double-barreled disasters: first an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, then a tsunami. At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, one containment building housing an overheated reactor had already exploded. A second explosion, about noon local time Monday, destroyed an outer building at another of the plant's reactors.

Officials said a third reactor at the six-reactor facility had lost its cooling capacity, and the U.S. Seventh Fleet, stationed 100 miles offshore, repositioned its ships and aircraft after some if its personnel came into contact with radioactive contamination.

With a government spokesman saying that the reactor units could be in partial meltdown, an alarmed public struggled to understand the safety implications of trace radiation leakage, even as the government said that public safety was not in danger.


Magnitude 4.8 - Near the coast of Nicaragua

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 4.8

* Friday, March 11, 2011 at 16:54:52 UTC
* Friday, March 11, 2011 at 10:54:52 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 12.304°N, 87.514°W
Depth 64.3 km (40.0 miles)
Distances 52 km (32 miles) SW of Chinandega, Nicaragua
70 km (43 miles) WSW of Leon, Nicaragua
136 km (84 miles) W of MANAGUA, Nicaragua
1475 km (916 miles) ESE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 25.2 km (15.7 miles); depth +/- 2.2 km (1.4 miles)