Saturday, March 12, 2011

Will the Ring of Fire Earthquakes in 2011 continue on to North America soon?

Chile, then New Zealand, and now Japan: Earthquakes and the Ring of Fire

By Kevin Stoda

Many of you are aware that Japan has been the third country to be once again struck by a major earthquake since 2011 began. I wonder if this is the result of normal Ring of Fire activities in the Pacific or whether something more ominous is at work.

“The "Ring of Fire" is an arc stretching from New Zealand, along the eastern edge of Asia, north across the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and south along the coast of North and South America. The Ring of Fire is composed over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. This huge ring of volcanic and seismic (earthquake) activity was noticed and described before the invention of the theory of plate tectonics theory [by those who sailed and traversed the Pacific for centuries.]. We now know that the Ring of Fire is located at the borders of the Pacific Plate and other major tectonic plates.”

The Ring of Fire in the Pacific is also ‘known as the circum-Pacific seismic belt,’ it is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 percent of the world's largest earthquakes occur.”

“So many of the world's earthquakes originate in this belt since it's a region of young, growing mountains and deep ocean trenches, which invariably parallel mountain chains. Earthquakes tend to accompany elevation changes in mountains (the higher part of the earth's crust), and changes in the ocean trenches (the lower part).”


One report, concerning Japan’s earthquake this week, is as follows, “Even for a country used to earthquakes, this one was of horrific proportions because of the tsunami that crashed ashore, swallowing everything in its path as it surged several miles (kilometers) inland before retreating. The apocalyptic images on Japanese TV of powerful, debris-filled waves, uncontrolled fires and a ship caught in a massive whirlpool resembled scenes from a Hollywood disaster movie.”

The initial major quake that hit the Sendai prefecture of Japan this week hit 8.9 on the Richter scale and is the worst to have hit Japan seen since 1800. There have been 150 aftershocks over the past 2 days—and tsunami warnings across the Pacific were made

Notably, across the Pacific in the very first days of this year 2011, Chile had already suffered another major earthquake.

Recall that just last year (2010), Chile had suffered from another one of the highest-recorded (Richter scale) earthquakes, which had measured an 8.8. That is nearly as strong as the Sendai Quake of this week. “Residents of central Chile were jolted out of bed at 3:34 am on February 27, 2010 by a severe earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. Three hours later, a 6.2 aftershock struck Concepcion and less than two hours after that, another aftershock of 5.5 hit approximately 50 miles from Santiago. There” were immediately “at least 90 aftershocks ranging from 4.9 to 6.9 in magnitude.”

Eighty percent of the Chile’s population felt that earthquake. A total of 370,000 homes were destroyed.

On February 21 of this year, on the southwestern shore of the Pacific Rim, New Zealand suffered another major quake near Christchurch. It was only a 6.3 on the Richter scale but it caused numerous casualties. The quake that struck New Zealand in February 2011 came only a half-year after another earlier NZ quake (at 7.0 on the Richter scale) had struck that same north island of the country—and also caused similar damage.

In short, in less than 11 weeks, the major earthquakes at the edge of the Rim of Fire in the Pacific have covered 3 continents—and have yet to move on to North America.

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