A series of 70 major earthquakes that have occurred around the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire has prompted fears that California may be hit by the dreaded "Big One", an anticipated earthquake with a magnitude powerful enough to have catastrophic consequences for the state. The sequence of earthquakes struck Indonesia, Bolivia, Japan and Fiji, but so far no major seismic activity has been reported in California. But could this recent rash of earthquakes mean that the "Big One" could be close behind?
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An increase in the number of devastating earthquakes around the world is being predicted for 2018, according to the University of Colorado’s Roger Bilham and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana. The two geologists have made a detailed study on earthquake activity recorded since 1900, and found that increases in the number of major earthquakes tend to follow predictable cycles, and 2018 happens to fall in one of those years.
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Even a few seconds warning prior to a devastating earthquake could save thousands of lives. But Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) systems are too pricey for governments in some of the most earthquake prone regions – including Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Now a group of scientists think they may have found a solution: a crowd-sourced EEW network using consumers’ smartphones.

Writing in the April 10, 2015 issue of Science Advances, nine researchers – hailing from the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California; CalTech and JPL in Pasadena, the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping at the University of Houston, and Carnegie-Mellon – explain the rationale behind their research as well as its results.
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Unexplained booms, bizarre earthquakes–the first 12 days of January are almost beyond explanation. Learn more in this special 1 hour Dreamland. The second half hour is the section normally reserved for subscribers. Please enjoy it, and consider subscribing to Unknowncountry.com.
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