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2010's World Gone Wild: Quakes, Floods, Blizzards

tornado
© unknown
This was the year the Earth struck back.

Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010.

"The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."

And we have ourselves to blame most of the time, scientists and disaster experts say.


Comment: This article supports the idea of human-caused global warming, and, as the above sentence says, blames us humans for most of the disasters that befell the world this past year. Find an analysis and rebuttal to this story here.


Even though many catastrophes have the ring of random chance, the hand of man made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year for everything from wild weather to earthquakes.

Poor construction and development practices conspire to make earthquakes more deadly than they need be. More people live in poverty in vulnerable buildings in crowded cities. That means that when the ground shakes, the river breaches, or the tropical cyclone hits, more people die.

Bizarro Earth

5.1-magnitude quake occurs in southern Greece, no damage reported

Athens, Greece - Seismologists in Greece say a 5.1 magnitude earthquake has rattled the south of the country, but there have been no reports from authorities of damage or injury.

Athens Geodynamic Institute, a state earthquake monitoring agency, said the undersea quake occurred at 11:37 a.m. (0937GMT), 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Athens, near the island of Milos. It struck at a depth of 103 kilometres (64 miles).

Bizarro Earth

Series Of Earthquakes Hit Central Arkansas

Image
© USGS
Guy - Central Arkansas has been hit by a series of earthquakes recently, the biggest so far was a magnitude four that shook the town of Guy, about 150 miles west of Memphis. A research scientist from the University of Memphis, Dr. Steve Horton said Arkansas is getting a lot of unusual earthquakes, more than 60 in the last month. "In the New Madrid Seismic Zone there's approximately 200 per year, so if we had that many in Central Arkansas in less than a month, something is going on," said Dr. Horton.

That part of central Arkansas isn't even part of the New Madrid Fault Zone, so researchers are trying to figure out what's causing all those earthquakes. Horton thinks, the earthquake swarm could be the result of injecting salt water into old natural gas wells to force more gas production. "There's salt water that's a by product of the natural gas industry in that area and then disposed in a well," said Dr. Horton.

Even though the two areas are not connected, Horton's biggest worry is along the New Madrid Fault where he said damage from a magnitude six earthquake could be catastrophic to Mid-Southerners. "A probability of having that in a 50-year period is about 25 to 40-percent chance," said Dr. Horton.

Comment: There seems to be a good deal of activity in this area. See USGS Records 53 Quakes In Week In Arkansas County


Bizarro Earth

Papua New Guinea - Earthquake Magnitude 6.2 - Bougainville Region

PNG Quake_131210
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Monday, December 13, 2010 at 01:14:43 UTC

Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:14:43 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
6.563°S, 155.658°E

Depth:
144.8 km (90.0 miles)

Region:
BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Distances:
40 km (25 miles) SSE of Arawa, Bougainville, PNG

100 km (65 miles) W of Chirovanga, Choiseul, Solomon Islands

990 km (610 miles) ENE of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea

2325 km (1450 miles) N of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia

Bizarro Earth

US: USGS Records 53 Quakes In Week In Arkansas County

Image
© Unknown
Conway - The U.S. Geological Survey said 53 earthquakes have been recorded in northern Faulkner County in just one week.

The Log Cabin Democrat newspaper at Conway reported Thursday that the earthquakes, all of them small, were recorded as occurring in the vicinity of Guy in the northern part of the county from Dec. 3 through Wednesday, with 25 quakes recorded on Sunday.

The largest of the quakes had a magnitude of 2.6. Researchers say quakes of 2.5 to 3.0 magnitude are typically the smallest felt by humans.

There were no reports of injuries or structural damage.

Bizarro Earth

5.2 magnitude quake jolts different parts of Pakistan

Image
© USGS
An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale jolted many parts of Punjab and KPK early Friday morning at 23:17 GMT on Thursday (04:17 a.m. Friday local time), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 4:17 am with its epicenter 64 kilometres east of Zhob in Baluchistan, at a depth of 19 kilometers, the United States Geological Survey said. Tremors were felt in Faisalabad, Vehari, Jhang, Dera Ismail Khan as well as tribal areas. Unsettled by the sudden shocks, people came out of their houses, whereas no reports of any kind of losses have been received.

From USGS:

Date-Time:
Thursday, December 09, 2010 at 23:17:32 UTC

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 04:17:32 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
31.557°N, 70.140°E

Depth:
9.8 km (6.1 miles)

Bizarro Earth

Philippines - Earthquake Magnitude 6.1

Philippines Quake_081210
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 at 06:47:18 UTC

Wednesday, December 08, 2010 at 02:47:18 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
7.380°N, 126.603°E

Depth:
69.6 km (43.2 miles)

Region:
MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

Distances:
115 km (70 miles) SSE of Hinatuan, Mindanao, Philippines

115 km (70 miles) ENE of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines

210 km (130 miles) SE of Butuan, Mindanao, Philippines

1005 km (630 miles) SE of MANILA, Philippines

Bizarro Earth

South Sandwich Islands Region - Earthquake Magnitude 6.5

South Sandwich Isld Quake_081210
© USGS
Earthquake Location
Date-Time:
Wednesday, December 08, 2010 at 05:24:33 UTC

Wednesday, December 08, 2010 at 03:24:33 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
56.440°S, 25.866°W

Depth:
17.3 km (10.8 miles) set by location program

Region:
SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION

Distances:
85 km (55 miles) ENE of Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands

290 km (180 miles) N of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

3480 km (2160 miles) SE of BUENOS AIRES, D.F., Argentina

Bizarro Earth

Papua New Guinea: Earthquake Magnitude 6.9

Image
© USGS
The U.S. Geological Survey says a powerful earthquake has shaken Papua New Guinea. The agency says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 and struck Thursday about 20 miles (32 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor. It hit near the island province of New Britain, 295 miles (470 kilometers) northeast of the national capital Port Moresby.

From USGS:

Date-Time:
Thursday, December 02, 2010 at 03:12:10 UTC

Thursday, December 02, 2010 at 01:12:10 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
6.059°S, 149.851°E

Depth:
34.8 km (21.6 miles) set by location program

Region:
NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Distances:
40 km (25 miles) ENE of Kandrian, New Britain, PNG

65 km (40 miles) SSW of Kimbe, New Britain, PNG

475 km (295 miles) NE of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea

2400 km (1490 miles) N of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia

Radar

Tremors of earthquake under Atlantic Ocean felt on New York's Long Island

Image
© Environmental Protection Agency
Tremors: The earthquake, which measured 3.9 Ritcher Scale, was felt as far away as New York City
An earthquake under the Atlantic Ocean was felt by thousands of U.S. east coast residents yesterday - including people as far away as New York City.

The quake, which was recorded at 10.46am local time, measured 3.9 on the Richter Scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The event occurred about 80 miles south-east of Southampton, on New York's Long Island, and about 120 miles east of Toms River, New Jersey.

Most reports of light shaking came from Long Island and Connecticut.