But then, as we’ve reported in the past, they always do. Animals and birds in Pakistan started strangely just before the first earthquake hit. Dogs started barking for no reason and packs of them began roaming in the streets. Cats were also restless and refused to eat and flocks of birds left their perches and flew into the sky. We’ve reported before that animals often know an earthquake is coming before humans have a clue.
read more

The earthquake that devastated Pakistan on Saturday was acontinental scale tectonic event. It was followed by over adozen aftershocks and was the result of stresses built up bythe northward movement of the Indian Subcontinent. TheUnited States Geologic Service says, “much of thecompressional motion between these two colliding plates hasbeen and continues to be accomodated by slip on a suite ofmajor thrust faults that are at the earth’s surface in thefoothills of the mountains and dip northward beneath theranges.” Little is understood about the connectivity ofearthquakes that are not on contiguous faults, but there issome evidence that they come in sequence.
read more

After the experience with hurricanes Katrina and Rita, municipalities all over the country are reassessing their disaster preparations. In California, the main threats from nature are brush fires and earthquakes. The Santa Ana winds that arrive every October fan any flames that start into huge life threatening wildfires. But earthquakes are what Angelenos fear the most, due to their proximity to the San Andreas fault. Are they prepared for the inevitable?
read more

An earthquake swarm is being reported by the US GeologicService Earthquake Hazards Program in the Brawley SeismicZone immediately south of the Salton Sea in southernCalifornia. The swarm began on August 28, and reached asustained level of higher activity (quakes in the 4.5-5.0region of intensity) on August 31. The swarm is continuingat this time.

It is similar to swarms that occurred in the Brawley area inthe 1970s and 1980s. In the past, a quake on thecross-fault of the type that is taking place now triggeredmagnitude 6.2 and 6.6 events in 1987. The activity takingplace at present is ten miles from the major San Andreas,San Jacinto and Imperial faults, and shows no obvious signsof destabilizing them at this time.
read more