Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

The gods are angry because:

a) Abortion is allowed
b) We’ve warmed the earth with our toxic gases (you know who you are)
c) Not everyone is Christian
d) Not everyone is Muslim
e) Not everyone agrees with me

Tsunami Carried Boat

The tsunami generated by the M 8.8 earthquake carried many boats onto land – in some cases hundreds of meters inland. The tsunami wave height at this location in Concepcion Harbor (Talcahuano), Chile was about 4-5 meters (12-15 feet). Photographer: Walter D. Mooney Ph. D. (vog.sgsu@yenoom), U.S. Geological Survey

Take your pick. There has to be a reason for all the recent seismic activity. Personally, I’m going with “e”.

According the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), eight significant earthquakes have shaken the earth since February 27, when the 8.8 magnitude mother hit off the shore of Maule, Chile. The USGS’s “significant” tremors include a 4.4 in the greater Los Angeles area on March 16 and a 4.9 in Utah on April 15, which, as anyone who has lived in earthquake country can attest, aren’t all that significant. So we’re really just left with six significant events.

You’re familiar with at least some of them: The 6.9 that churned China on April 13 and the 7.2 that batted Baja California on April 4 immediately jump to mind. Then there were the 6.3 that shook Spain on April 11, the 6.8 that struck the Solomon Islands the same day and the 7.7 that jolted Indonesia on April 6.

And these don’t take into consideration the Haiti quake that walloped the island way back on January 12.

Add to that the Icelandic volcano that has disrupted international air traffic and we’re in a world of hurt. Earth’s insides are churning and no amount of antacids are going to calm her down.

But before we get our knickers in a twist, it’s important to put these events in perspective.

“Scientists say 2010 is not showing signs of unusually high earthquake activity,” the USGS states in an April 14 report, “Is Recent Earthquake Activity Unusual? Scientists Say No.”

“Since 1900, an average of 16 magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes — the size that seismologists define as major — have occurred worldwide each year. Some years have had as few as 6, as in 1986 and 1989, while 1943 had 32, with considerable variability from year to year.

“With six major earthquakes striking in the first four months of this year, 2010 is well within the normal range.”

So I guess the gods aren’t all that miffed. And, it seems, everyone really does agree with me.

Still, if you do live in earthquake country, it would behoove you to take a few moments to visit the USGS’s Prepare page. An ounce of prevention and all that.

Take it away, Jerry: “Whose barn what barn my barn.”


Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at Tom@YourConsistentVoice.com.

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