Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Earth's Bell Gives Another Peal--After A Day Of Silence, Big Quake Hits


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

At around 11am today, I looked in on the IRIS world earthquake map and noted not a single earthquake was happening in the previous 24 hrs. "Ah, there will be a big earthquake by the end of the day!" I said, being a cheery Cassandra. I figured it would be at the opposite side of the planet's rift valley of the Gulf of California and sure enough, it was at the other huge rift, the one in Africa.

From Associated Press;
A powerful earthquake struck Mozambique early Thursday morning, shaking buildings and forcing people from hundreds of miles around to dash into the streets for safety. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The magnitude-7.5 quake struck at 12:19 a.m. in southern Mozambique, 140 miles southwest of the coastal city of Beira, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The temblor was felt in neighboring Zimbawe and as far south as Durban, South Africa, 800 miles away.

Elias Daudi, Mozambique's national director of energy, said on state radio that authorities still do not have any information on casualties or the extent of the damage. He also urged people not to return to their buildings because of possible aftershocks.
Already, as I was doing the artwork, a 5.4 aftershock has hit. It is with tremendous interest I see this one, like nearly all the great quakes this last year or so, since the big blow-out next to Indonesia, are at the 10 km level. There is something important separating the 10 km of the crust from what lies below. Some earthquakes are very deep indeed, more than 400 kms. But the really bigs ones this series happen to be at the 10 km level.

Once again, the earth will shake and writhe everywhere and then they will get very light and small, then rhythmic, like the series of near identical depth and intensity daisy chain of quakes that trembled up South and Central America and down the Kamchatka Islands, Japan and the Philippines. It looks like all the great rift valleys are going to readjust themselves for the next five years or so.

Which is why I worry about the huge rift system which is much of California.

Looking at our planet, I wonder if Antarctica isn't moving towards Africa? There is so much we need to know about this planet which is why Bush and his gang are so lacksidasical about it all for they have, at their fingertips, all the tools, all the data.

Scarey, isn't it?


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