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'Great' Quake has Earth Vibrating

The 9.0 mega-earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean Sundayhas caused the entire planet to begin vibrating. EnzoBoschi, the head of Italy's National Geophysics Institutestated on Italian television on Sunday evening that "all theplanet is vibrating" because of the quake, and that it haddisturbed the planet's rotation.

This is the fifth largest earthquake in recorded history,and little is known about the planetary effects of suchtremors. The last one, a 9.2 quake that struck PrinceWilliam Sound in Alaska in 1964, did not result in anymeasured planet-wide effects beyond the quake itself.

The Indian Ocean quake put trillions of tons of water intorapid motion, which is what has affected the movement of theplanet. The quake took place on "Full Moon Day," the daywhen the moon remains the longest in the sky in the northernhemisphere, and many victims intially thought that theincoming waves were due to a stronger than normal tide.

As this is being written, 22,000 deaths have been reportedin the vast quake zone that surrounds the Indian Ocean. Manymore people remain unaccounted for, and some internationalofficials are speculating that the death toll could exceed50,000. The amount of damage is almost incalculable. Withoutquestion, this is the most expensive catastrophe in history.

Little is known about the synergistic effect of earthquakes,but it is known that a very powerful quake preceeded thisone by a few days off the coast of Tasmania, and involvedthe same plates that later buckled in the Indian Ocean.Whether or not additional quakes in other areas will followis unknown, but there have been aftershocks from the firstquake, and tsunami alerts in Indian Ocean countries remain high.

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