Friday, January 13, 2006

Look out! Earthquake in Northeast Ohio!

Earthquakes only happen on the west coast not in Ohio, right? Not so. In fact, Ohio sits on several faultlines and other deep structures that have the potential to cause seismic activity. Ohio is also on the periphery of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area in Missouri and surrounding states that was the site of the largest earthquake sequence to occur in historical times in the contnguous US. Many scientists say that its only a matter of time before a major earthquake occurs in the middle of the country!

On January 13, 2006, a small earthquake was reported in Eastlake, Ohio with a 2.4 magnitude. This is equivalent to 4.6 tons of TNT compare this with the 9.0 quake that caused the tsunami which was equivalent to 32 billion tons of TNT! While these quakes are no where near the severity of the west coast quakes, they are still felt and in some cases, can still do some damage. Over the last 2 months, 4 earthquakes have been reported in the snowbelt areas of Northeastern Ohio alone!

The Ohio Seismic Network is responsible for recording the state's earthquake activity. Since 1999, the 25 station network has recorded 31 events that most of us didn't even feel or hear about.

Maybe you remember the quake back in 1986. That earthquake registered a magnitude 5.0 or 1000 times more powerful than the quake on January 13th! Amazingly, 13 aftershocks occurred over the following 2 months. It ended up being the most studied quake in the history of Ohio quakes.

Therefore, if you feel a rumble sometime, it might be a truck driving by or thunder. But there is always the slim chance that it could be the earth quakes beneath you!

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