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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Earthquake : Today is the Ground Breaking reality for Indonesia and India

From a gentle ripple to terrifying and violent movements in the Earth, earthquakes literally rock the world. Earthquakes are tremors in the ground, created by the sudden movement of tectonic plates huge slabs of rock that make up the Earth`s crust.The majority of Earthquakes are so gentle that no one notices them, but some are so violent they destroy whole cities . An earthquake`s effect and intensity are measured on different scales.In earthquake prone countries, planning minimizes the damage earthquakes cause.

Anatomy of Earth

Tectonic plates: Usually slide past each other, but sometimes they get stuck together.The stress on the rocks build up up until they fault (crack).The tectonic plates then jolt past each other , sending shock waves through the ground. These Vibrations known as scientific waves, cause the earth to quake.

Earthquake Zones:  Although earthquake can occur anywhere, they are more frequent in the earthquake zones.These zones, such as Japan and California, lie near the moving margins of the tectonic plates called fault lines.

Major Earthquake zones of the world

Epicentre:The point at which and earthquake occurs is known as the focus.Above the focus is the epicentre - the point on the earth`s surface where the effects of an earthquake are most devastating.The focus may be as much as 700 km (185 miles) below the Epicentre. In 1985, an earthquake in Mexico city, which its epicentre in the Pacific ocean, Left 9500 people dead. It measured 8.1 on the Richter scale.

Richter scale: Measures the force of an earthquake on a scale from 1 -10, taken from seismograph readings of the seismic waves. Each represents a force 10 times greater than that of the next lowest figure


Seismometer:  Seismometer  show seismic waves, and measure an earthquake location and intensity on the richter scale.The height of each line shows the wave`s force.

Tsunami:  These are huge waves precipitated when an earthquake or volcanic eruption shakes the sea floor.Tsunamis roll along the ocean floor as fast as a jet plane. When they rear up into water ridges about 30 m (100 ft) high. Many Tsumanis occur in the Pacific Ocean such as the one in Hawaii (1964)

Picture of a tsunami flooding a road after the Japan earthquake

Earthquake Proofing: Technology cannot prevent earthquakes but it can help limit their damage, particularly in building design.Most loss of  life is not caused not by the shaking ground, but by the collapse of buildings and roads, and fires started by damage to electrical equipment.

Earthquake Proof Building Design: Pyramid-shaped curved and fine resistant building and structures such as  staircase in in California, USA, bend rather than break during an earthquake .Mounting foundations on rubber also helps absorb some of the earthquake shocks.

Timeline of Earthquakes around the World

Earthquake Today is the Ground Breaking reality for Indonesia and India:

New Delhi:  Nearly four hours after a powerful earthquake struck Indonesia today, India has finally withdrawn the tsunami warning that was generated earlier. A second round of tremors was felt in India in cities like Kolkata and Chennai at 4.25 pm, but there was no tsunami threat from those aftershocks. A tsunami warning for the Nicobar Islands that was downgraded to an alert too has been withdrawn.

Indonesia had issued a new tsunami warning following an aftershock that hovered around 8.2 on the Richter scale. The original earthquake struck Indonesia at 2.08 pm, and first reports said it measured 8.9 on the Richter scale. It spurred warnings of a possible tsunami. The quake was later downgraded to 8.6 magnitude.


Indonesia-Earthquake people came out from the building
A little over two hours after the first earthquake, with no big waves reported and just as it seemed that the tsunami alerts would be lifted soon, the second tremors were felt. Officials in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have prepped for emergency processes and remain on high alert. People have been asked to move away from the coast and Press Trust of India reports that the government has evacuated some people from South Andaman as a precaution.

World Vision on standby after earthquakes off Indonesia.

The Indian Air Force is on the ready for relief ops; six teams of 40 people each from the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) have been positioned at Hindon near Delhi, and at Chennai and two C-130J heavy-lift aircrafts of the Indian Air Force are leaving for Port Blair with NDRF teams and 10 tonnes of relief material.
Before the strong aftershocks, the Home Secretary RK Singh said, "As of now there are no signs of a tsunami." But he said the union government was in constant touch with officials in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
Earthquake in Kolkata

The minutes after the first quake saw emergency drills in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. On the beaches at Chennai, policemen used megaphones to ask people to leave, with little effect. Mobile phone networks were jammed in the city till 4 pm. In Andhra Pradesh, fishermen were asked to return from sea. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, civilians were asked to move to higher ground. In Kolkata, metro trains were stopped at 2.40 pm for nearly an hour; as a precaution, passengers were evacuated.

The quake was felt in Singapore, Thailand and India. High-rise apartments and offices on Malaysia's west coast shook for at least a minute.

In India, tremors were reported in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and the southern part of Chennai. The tremors lasted for a few seconds. In Bhubaneshwar, people were seen running out of their homes and offices. No damage has been reported so far.

AG Kalidass emailed from Bangalore to say, "We were feeling our building shaking." Another viewer Shyam Agarwal writes, "I am from Kolkata. Just now a few minutes back heavy stroke of earthquake has been observed here."

Indonesia's disaster management agency said power was down in Aceh province and people were gathering on high ground as sirens warned of the danger.

"The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground. Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere," said Sutopo, spokesman for the agency.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the powerful quake was centred 20 miles (33 kilometres) beneath the ocean floor around 308 miles (495 kilometres) from Aceh's provincial capital.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on December 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

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