Is the Worst Earthquake Yet to Come in 2018?

By Madison F.

How safe are you? Did you know that scientists are saying the number of earthquakes could double this year? 

We are still in January, and yet we have seen THREE major earthquakes clocking in over a magnitude of 7! When the 7.9 occurred in Alaska on the 23rd of January, there was much fear of it creating a tsunami in the west coast. Lucky for us, it only was a few inches high, but it could have been a lot worse. This earthquake was bad enough to affect Florida, which is on the other side of the country!

I can't help but ask myself, what if it was a higher magnitude? Sure, a magnitude 8.0 or higher don’t occur often, but when they do, they can completely destroy the area where they happen. 

It is being estimated that the earthquake count will double this year. Below is a map of the earthquakes that occurred last year. As you can see, most of the earthquakes were small ones in the middle of the ocean, that really aren’t felt.

 

 

However, there have been big ones. Last year there was a devastating earthquake that occurred in Mexico. It was a magnitude of 8.1, and killed over 90 people. They had a tsunami hit, and one of the waves was reported being 5.8 feet.

With the possibilities of earthquakes doubling, that also means there are greater odds of the higher magnitude earthquakes occurring. Below is a map showing how far the intensity of the earthquake, that occurred Mexico, spread. Keep in mind, this is only feeling the earthquake. Not the after affects like the ones seen in Florida from the smaller earthquake in Alaska.

 


You may be asking yourself, why now? What is making the scientists believe this? The rotation of the earth has a lot of impact on earthquakes. There are devices that are used to measure the motion deep inside the earth’s core. If the earth spins faster or slower, by even a millisecond, then it can impact what we feel on the surface. However, it takes about 5-6 years for this impact to make its way up to the surface. An occurrence of this was measured back in 2011. At the end of last year, we saw quite a few earthquakes, as well as with the beginning of this year.

Projections of where these earthquakes will occur have been done. Back in 2015 a World Risk Report came out as seen in the picture below. This shows which places are at risk.

 

The equator can be seen as a danger zone. The reasoning if this is that it is the widest point of Earth. That means that it also rotates the fastest. When there is a slowing of the rotation of the Earth, this is the point that is going to be impacted the most.

Of course, what areas at risk should be taken with a grain of salt. There was a 7.9 earthquake that occurred in Alaska, even though this map shows they have a lower risk. 

 

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