Monday, May 7, 2012

The Big One is coming, the Big One is coming!...

On the evening of April 18, 1775, after being rowed across the Charles River, then riding on a borrowed horse, Paul Revere traveled nearly 20 miles along unlit, dirt roads and shouted to residents along the way. “The British are coming!” All the way to Lexington he rode, to let Samuel Adams and John Hancock know that the British were indeed en route and it wasn’t a social visit.

 I am not a doom’s day person, but I do feel the need to warn people that we are “due” for a major (7-point-something) earthquake in Southern California. I blog, I speak, I post, but it really can’t hold a candle to Paul Revere’s heroic and difficult task. In those times, it seemed that people were more tuned into what was happening with their community and their country. TV and computers and video games were not around to distract people from their lives.

But, I am not deterred. Expecting communication and interests to remain constant is futile and silly, so I am looking for my own borrowed horse from which to spread the news – the Internet. Recently, I was shown an incredibly video on You Tube (the name of my horse on the internet) which brought earthquakes events from around the world right to your computer screen. Each shaker was morphed into dots, corresponding to the size of the earthquake, then placed sequentially on a world map to show the time and magnitude of each event. The result is an 8 minute light show of all earthquakes that occurred in 2011.

2011 was a memorable year for earthquakes. (See the Wikipedia entry for this at: Notable were the multiple deadly shakers in March in Honshu, Japan, which took the lives of nearly 16,000 people (although most died because of the ensuing tsunami), Christchurch, New Zealand in February and Turkey in October. Also noteworthy was the measly magnitude of 2.7, but notable earthquake in Ohio, the first ever recorded there.

To visualize these events, we thank You Tube. In this video, the introduction in Japanese shows the relationship between the circles and the earthquakes’ magnitudes. You need not know Japanese to understand what they are showing you. Next comes the best part – the entire year in earthquakes flashing in front of you, from January 1st through December 31. It is nothing short of mesmerizing. What is really amazing is the seemingly non-stop flashing of lights in Japan. There is a constant flicker, then, on March 11, it really likes up.

What I like to point out is what is not happening. Specifically, the west coast of the United States is uncannily dark. Hardly a blip of light anywhere. It has been over 300 years since the southern end of the San Andreas fault has had any significant seismic activity and this, to some experts, is way past its due date.

So, take a look and see what you think. Time to get that earthquake ready? Yes, I think so. View the video at: Then I’ll see you at the store -- shopping for supplies.

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