News Stories

Earthquakes Shake the Planet

At 2:10 PM today GMT, a 6.0 earthquake struck Tanzania andwas felt as far away as Kenya, meaning that Mexico, Peru,Japan and Tanzania have now all been struck by powerfulquakes since July 5. The most serious damage has taken place in Japan, where two 6+ earthquakes have caused extensive damage, killed nine people, and resulted in radiation leaks at the country's largest nuclear power plant.

While authorities are claiming that the leaks pose nothreat, they are also claiming that they are stillevaluating the situation. The plant is the world's largest,and has been closed because seismographs indicated that thequake that struck the area exceeded the reactor's designedsafety capacity. At present, an effort is under way to testthe integrity of the reactor containment vessel.

While a wave of earthquakes like this is not unprecedented,it is unusual that powerful quakes would strike so manypopulated areas within a few days of each other, and thatsome of the quakes, such as the one in Tanzania and the onein Japan, would be significantly stronger than expected inthe areas where they occurred. While both countries areearthquake prone, strong quakes are unusual where they tookplace, which is why the Japanese reactor was not designed towithstand the quake that affected it.

There is no known identifiable force that appears to beresponsible for the quakes. Earthquake storms can be causedby interstellar shock waves, such as pulses from explodingstars, and from internal changes in the earth, but little isknown about such effects, and there is no indication at thistime that any unusual events have affected the planet.

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