Japan tops the list being most susceptible to massive earthquakes.
About 1,500 earthquakes strike the island nation every year. The count is unbelievable in itself. Minor tremors occur on a nearly daily basis.
Deadly quakes are a tragic part of the nation’s past.
The earthquakes being recorded have even broken the extremity of a magnitude 9.0 on a seismograph scale, which triggers Tsunamis and other deadly natural calamities.
But apart from technology, why japan leads in such a dark disaster; has a deep scientific reason.
Japan, an island nation is situated at a joint of 4 tectonic plates.
They have Pacific plate and Philippine plate to the east, and North America and Eurasian Plate to the West demonstrated by the image below
The Philippine and Pacific plate are drifting towards the west going underneath the other two tectonic plates.
It is just like a big piece of furniture, being pushed beneath the carpet, so a sudden pressure is likely to be felt, encountered as earthquakes.
You can say, the nation lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, an imaginary horseshoe-shaped zone that follows the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.
The Tohoku earthquake, 2011 is the largest in Japan’s history. It was a magnitude 9.0 quake which triggered a Tsunami, killing 29000 people.
The aftershocks of the massive 2011 quake are haunting Japan even till today (more than 12 years after quake), a 7.4 magnitude aftershock occurred on Nov 2016 causing a Tsunami of around 10m.
It is said that Nepalese people are more likely to be killed in an earthquake compared to any other worldly citizens.
Nepal is not just an earthquake prone zone but also a disaster prone country with landslides, floods, epidemics, fires occurring on a regular basis.
We can look at the Himalayas to spot the reason of quakes. Himalayas are itself a product of Indian plate which drove under the Eurasian plate forming these greater mountain ranges.
As the plates push against each other, friction generates stress and energy that builds comes out as an earthquake rupturing the crust.
April 2015 Nepal earthquake was the worst (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) .It killed nearly 9,000 people and injured about 22,000. It measured as 7.8 on the scale but with shallower depth of 18.5 km, the
India comes under the top third earthquake prone country due to it’s rapid tectonic movement.
It is divided into 5 zones : Zone 1,2,3,4,5, where zone 5 represents highest intensity including the western Himalayas and Kashmir
Earthquakes occur in the upper mantle or lower crust. The depth of the focus can be categorized as shallow (up to 70 km below the surface), intermediate (70 to 300 km), or deep (greater than 300 km)
India has experienced a series of some deadly earthquakes due to the movement of the Indian tectonic plate at the rate of 47 mm every year.
On December 26, 2004, an earthquake followed by a tsunami had killed around 15,000 Indians. This massive quake in Indian ocean affected around 15 countries originating from Indonesia.
Also, on January 26, 2001, an Earthquake in Gujarat had also killed thousands.
Without elongating this post much , I will continue other earthquake aspects and stories in later posts.
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