The Museu do Azulejo in Lisbon has an amazing panorama (video) of the city painted shortly before the historic earthquake of 1755 (image, here are some sections). Azulejo is a traditional form of Portuguese painted tiles -- the "azul" does NOT come from the blue color, a fairly recent development, but from the much older Arabic word "zellige" meaning "polished stones". This panorama comes from an age before photography and provides a look at the old city in a characteristic Portuguese art form, providing a fascinating glimpse into the old city before it was virtually destroyed. [more inside]
Confronting New Madrid (Part 1): In the winter of 1811-12, the New Madrid fault in southern Missouri triggered a series of earthquakes in so powerful they altered the course of the Mississippi River and rang church bells as far away as Philadelphia... and we still don't fully understand why. A similar quake today is estimated to be the costliest disaster in US History.
Confronting New Madrid (Part 2): As dangerous as the threat of "the big one" might be, however, the real disaster is us. [more inside]
Confronting New Madrid (Part 2): As dangerous as the threat of "the big one" might be, however, the real disaster is us. [more inside]
Will terrible earthquake bring a fuller democracy in Nepal? Amid the rubble and homeless in Nepal, the country's political parties appear poised to finally enact a constitution. Has adversity brought opportunity?
How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes. Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures [more inside]
"Many of the places and peoples most severely hit were the poorest, those in villages close to the epicenter where homes are made from mud and wood. Homes that collapsed in the earthquake. Homes in regions where there are no vehicular roads, where already weak communication infrastructure is now not operative, where rescue and relief operations are struggling to reach. Some of these villages are known to anthropology students around the world. For better or worse, Nepal has a deep ethnographic literature, much of it centered on the sort of mountain villages so devastated by the earthquake... Some of these villages are gone.[more inside]
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 has hit Nepal, killing over 1,000 people. The epicenter was just outside Kathmandu, but the effects have been felt as far away as Tibet, Bangladesh, and India. Regular updates at The Guardian.
An interactive map of geologic doom from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. You can model which hazards are most likely to affect your (Oregon) neighborhood, from landslides, tsunamis, and the ever-ominous Cascadian Subduction earthquake.
Tokyo 1923, the video game.
Based on Akira Kurosawa's experience with the Great Kanto Earthquake - as written in his "Something Like an Autobiography" -, Tokyo 1923 immerses the player in the midst of a catastrophe and tries to bring up questions about solidarity, desperation and moving on after a personal or global tragedy.[more inside]
The Aftershocks Seven of Italy’s top scientists were convicted of manslaughter after a catastrophic earthquake. What the hell happened in L’Aquila?
The SFMTA has published excerpts of their photo archives from donated collections, spanning the post-1906 earthquake period all the way up to modern times. [more inside]
Geo-Cosmos is one of the three interactive features that are part of the Tsunagari display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, simply known as the Miraikan, in Tokyo. Geo-Cosmos consists of OLED squares configured a 6m (~19.7 ft) diameter spherical display of over 10 million pixels, which can map out clouds as captured by weather satellites, the expanding effects of the March 11 earthquake in Japan (Audience video), or pretty much anything you want to see on a spherical display.
Dispatch from Haiti: Quiet Before The Storm "For the past five years, I've traveled annually to Haiti. When I first went there as a reporter I ended up staying through an earthquake, a cholera outbreak (and the protests it inspired), and a fraudulent election (plus more protests) over the following two years. I just made another trip there to consult on a research project. And when I come back to the States, here's what people always ask me: How are people doing down there? Are things getting any better?"
Ghosts of the Tsunami has Richard Lloyd Parry interviewing survivors, priests, people who have seen ghosts, and the possessed in this article about events following the 3.11.11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. From the London Review of Books.
What Neil deGrasse Tyson is to astrophysics, Lucy Jones is to seismology. "The last time there was a large seismic event on the fault that can do us the most harm, the San Andreas, in 1857, Los Angeles had about 4,000 residents. “We really weren’t worried about keeping a complex social structure in place,” Jones said. But as we get bigger and more complex, we increase our vulnerability." Jones presented her talk, “Imagine America Without Los Angeles” to the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco in 2013. While today is the 20th anniversary of the Northridge quake, we still haven't quite figured out what to do to mitigate the effects of the BIG ONE to come. [more inside]
Haitian photographer Daniel Morel has been awarded $1.22 million on a copyright claim against Agence France-Presse and Getty Images (previously) [more inside]
2013 Science Journalism Award winners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
- Large Newspaper: Deep Trouble, about invasive Asian Carp, sewage, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan
- Small Newspaper: Warning: Quake in 60 Seconds, about why California doesn't have a decent early warning system for earthquakes
- Magazine: Attack of the Mutant Pupfish, about genetic integrity vs. genetic restoration in the fight to preserve endangered species
- Television (20 minutes or less): NOVA's profile of computer scientist Adrien Treuille and Foldit, a crowd-sourced protein-folding game
- Television (more than 20 minutes): Smithsonian Channel: Killer in the Caves, about bats and the deadly white-nose fungus
- Radio: NPR and The Center for Public Integrity - As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge and Black-Lung Rule Loopholes Leave Miners Vulnerable
- Online: An environmental scandal that’s happening right underneath your feet, about the hidden cost of natural gas leaks in pipelines underneath cities
- Children's Science News: Cold Water Corals: Paradise on the Seabed [pdf]
Roger Craig, Giants manager: I was in my office when the walls started shaking. I heard Don Robinson hollering, "Earthquake! Earthquake!" I told everybody to run out to the parking lot. It was asphalt and it was just rolling. -- Grantland's oral history of the Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1989 World Series
An earthquake in Balochistan (also spelled Baluchistan), a mountainous province of Pakistan, has killed many people and reportedly flattened many houses in Awaran, the worst-affected district. The force of the earthquake raised the sea bed near the port of Gwadar, creating a new island. Early estimates of casualties are notoriously inaccurate, but a preliminary report by Max Wyss of WAPMERR suggests there will be several thousand deaths.
Massive earthquakes in Chile and Japan have been found to cause the dramatic increase in violent quakes around fracking's largely unregulated wastewater injection wells observed in the Midwest in the past two years, where injected water acts as a lubricant for geological faults that were previously thought to be "dead" or stable for millions of years.
Recently surfaced video of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. An incredible 25 minutes of breathtaking power and destruction.
On Saturday, September 1, 1923, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck the Kantō region of Japan. The resulting fires destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes in Tokyō and Yokohama, resulting in 142,800 deaths. A new resource site hosted by the University of Hawai'i, The Great Kantō Earthquake Japan of 1923, provides images of 199 scanned photographs documenting the destruction and aftermath of what, at the time, was the most powerful earthquake to strike the region. [more inside]
In disaster after disaster, the fear returns that people — under stress, freed by circumstance from the bonds of authority — will turn on one another. The clear consensus is that this has no basis in reality. [more inside]
Dawn reports that the largest earthquake to hit Iran in 40 years struck the Balochistan region along the Iran-Pakistan border. At least 45 people are dead, but that figure is expected to rise. Earthquaketrack says it was 7.8 on the Richter scale. At emptywheel, Jim White notes that two smaller Iranian earthquakes last year killed over 300 people.
Those who may have seen articles such as this Discover Magazine article, may want to know more about the Cascadia fault and the possibility of a Fukushima type earthquake [previously: here]. Here is the best summary of the science that led to the discovery of the 1700 earthquake and the history of earlier quakes. Of particular interest is a beautiful piece of data display in Figure 9 that shows the spacing in time and extent of earthquakes over the last 10,000 years based on evidence of tsunamis produced by the quakes. Finally, here is a great pieces on Surviving a Tsunami should the need arise.
What do you do with all those empty lots that are left after major earthquakes? Gap Filler fills them with temporary community structures like the Pallet Pavillion. [more inside]
Movie showing ground motion of four earthquakes propagating across a high density seismic array in Long Beach, California.
In The Public Domain Review, John Glassie reviews one of Athanasius Kircher's greatest works, Mundus Subterraneus (Underground World),
…intended to lay outbefore the eyes of the curious reader all that is rare, exotic, and portentous contained in the fecund womb of Nature.
Six natural disaster experts and one government official were sentenced today to six years in jail for not having warned the populace of the major earthquake that hit L'Aquila, Italy in April of 2009 (previously). [more inside]
“If I had depended on Yéle,” said Diaoly Estimé, whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, “these kids would all be dead by now.” (SLNYT)
Shawn Clover has created blended photos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake/fire aftermath. His first set was posted in 2010 (Beware: dead horses in one photo) and he's just released his second set.
In the year and a half since the earthquake and tsunami caused an industry-wide Japanese nuclear shutdown , Japanese consumers and businesses have been urged to conserve energy whenever possible. Although a few reactors are being brought back online temporarily, the Japanese government has pledged to move away from nuclear power sources. Yesterday the Japanese government announced what may be the world's highest solar photovolatic feed-in tariff at 53 cents per kWh generated. [more inside]
A magnitude 8.7 earthquake has been recorded off the west coast of Northern Sumatra in the Indian Ocean at 2012 April 11 08:38:38 UTC. A Tsunami Warning has been issued spanning the entire Indian Ocean.
The recent magnitude 7.4 Oaxaca, Mexico earthquake caused quite the ruckus 2,000 miles away in Devil's Hole, Death Valley. Video (The real good stuff starts around the 2:15 mark. Read about it here.). Another view of the seiche from Scientific America (Read about it here).
Following the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, commercials largely disappeared from television. To fill space between the news reports and lists of missing people, the Ad Council of Japan put together a number of PSAs. Since there were only five or ten of them, the PSAs played thousands of times over the course of a few months, searing themselves into the memory of the Japanese public. Most were typical messages about common courtesy, perseverance, listening to your kids, conservation, and international support. But one PSA in particular quickly took on a life of its own, instantly being mashed up with a classic Japanese TV trope: Robot Transformation Sequences! [more inside]
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom. Japan, still feeling the aftershocks of the earthquake, the tsunami, the Fukushima exclusion zone... An opportunity for everyone to reflect on the disaster, share stories, and contemplate the impact of a year ago and what it means today.
What does a magnitude 9.0 earthquake sound like? Researchers sped up low-frequency ground waves recorded during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, bringing them within range of human hearing. Hear the mainshock from just off the coast of Japan. And how it "sounded" in California. [more inside]
On February 22, , 13 [bus passengers] were crushed by an unreinforced brick building at 603-13 Colombo St. I broke half a dozen bones or so, severed a tendon, spent two months in hospital and six months off work. And I was lucky. Twelve people died. I did not know them, but they forever travel with me.Just after midday, North Carolina native and political scientist Ann Brower boarded the no. 3 bus to Canterbury University. Shortly afterwards, falling masonry from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake trapped her and the other passengers in the bus. She was the sole survivor. Now, nearly a year later, she describes her rescue and her recovery. [more inside]
Yu Muroga was doing his job making deliveries when the 11 March 2011 earthquake hit in Japan. Unaware, like many people in the area, of how far inland the Tsunami would travel, he continued to drive and do his job. The HD camera mounted on his dashboard captured not only the earthquake, but also the moment he and several other drivers were suddenly engulfed in the Tsunami. He escaped from the vehicle seconds before it was crushed by other debris and sunk underwater.
On Monday, Google released Memories for the Future, a website that allows you to "... walk the scarred coastline [after the Japanese tsunami] virtually". "... it is possible to see the full extent of the damage by finding an image in Street View and then clicking the “Before” and “After” links at the top to see how the earthquake and tsunami impacted that area." The Japan Real Time blog has a good introduction and writeup.
Ross Becker's photographs of Christchurch. The central business district reopens this weekend for the first time since the earthquake (Previously: 1, 2, 3) on February 22, 2011. [more inside]
Security camera footage shows the Washington Monument shaking during the recent earthquake. [more inside]
Seismic waves propagating across the US --- "Phil Plait showed the spectacular animation of seismic waves propagating across the US from the 5.8 Virginia earthquake last week, but left out part of the story. A commenter, davenquinn, picked up some details." [more inside]
This is how it will happen. Let’s pick a day: June 22, 2012. It’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest, 75 degrees and sunny. It’s been raining for weeks, and in Seattle the freeways are jammed with people fleeing the city to enjoy the rare sunshine. Same story in Portland. Out on the coast, the beach towns are thrumming with tourists. How a monster earthquake and resulting tsunami would affect the coast and cities of the Pacific NW.