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Earthquakes

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Nature and flora

1994 Northridge earthquake

The 1994 Northridge earthquake was a magnitude of 6.7 (Mw), blind thrust earthquake that occurred on January 17, 1994, at 4:30:55 a.m. PST in the San Fernando Valley region of the County of Los Angeles. Its epicenter was in Reseda, a neighborhood in the north-central Valley. The quake had a duration of approximately 10–20 seconds, and its peak ground acceleration of 1.8g (16.7 m/s2) was the highest ever instrumentally recorded in an urban area in North America. Strong ground motion was felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, about 220 miles (360 km) from the epicenter. The peak ground velocity at the Rinaldi Receiving Station was 183 cm/s, the fastest ever recorded.

Nature and flora

1989 Loma Prieta earthquake

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred in Northern California on October 17 at 5:04 p.m. local time. The shock was centered in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park approximately 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the San Andreas Fault System and was named for the nearby Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With an Mw magnitude of 6.9 and a maximum Modified Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), the shock was responsible for 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. The Loma Prieta segment of the San Andreas Fault System had been relatively inactive since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake until two moderate foreshocks occurred in June 1988 and again in August 1989.

Nature and flora

1906 San Francisco earthquake

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). High intensity shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region to the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. As a result, up to 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest earthquakes in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history and high in the lists of American disasters.

Nature and flora

1960 Valdivia earthquake

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or the Great Chilean earthquake on 22 May 1960 is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Various studies have placed it at 9.4–9.6 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon, and lasted approximately 10 minutes. The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands.

Nature and flora

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was a magnitude 9.0–9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday 11 March 2011, with the epicentre approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 29 km (18 mi). The earthquake is often referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake and is also known as the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, the Great Sendai Earthquake, the Great Tōhoku Earthquake, and the 3.11 earthquake.

Nature and flora

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on 26 December, with an epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra. It was an undersea megathrust earthquake that registered a magnitude of 9.1–9.3 Mw, reaching a Mercalli intensity up to IX in certain areas. The earthquake was caused by a rupture along the fault between the Burma Plate and the Indian Plate.

Nature and flora

2001 Nisqually earthquake

The 2001 Nisqually earthquake occurred at 10:54:32 local time on February 28, 2001. The intraslab earthquake had a moment magnitude of 6.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). The epicenter was in the southern Puget Sound, northeast of Olympia, but the shock was felt in Oregon, Canada, eastern Washington, and Idaho. This was one of several large earthquakes that occurred in the Puget Sound region in the prior 52 years and caused property damage valued at between one and four billion dollars. One person died of a heart attack and several hundred were injured.

Nature and flora

1992 Landers earthquake

The 1992 Landers earthquake occurred on June 28 with an epicenter near the town of Landers, California. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.3 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent).

Nature and flora

1964 Alaska earthquake

The 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan earthquake and Good Friday earthquake, occurred at 5:36 PM AKST on Good Friday, March 27 spring-tide/full-moon. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing structures, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 139 deaths.

Nature and flora

1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake

The 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake occurred in the southern San Gabriel Valley and surrounding communities of southern California at 7:42 a.m. PDT on October 1. The moderate 5.9 magnitude blind thrust earthquake was centered several miles north of Whittier in the town of Rosemead, had a relatively shallow depth, and was felt throughout southern California and southern Nevada. A large number of homes and businesses were impacted, along with roadway disruptions, mainly in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Damage estimates ranged from $213–358 million, with 200 injuries, three directly-related deaths, and five additional fatalities that were associated with the event.

Nature and flora

1971 San Fernando earthquake

The 1971 San Fernando earthquake occurred in the early morning of February 9 in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in southern California. The unanticipated thrust earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5 on the Ms scale, and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). The event was one in a series that affected the Los Angeles area in the late 20th century. Damage was locally severe in the northern San Fernando Valley and surface faulting was extensive to the south of the epicenter in the mountains, as well as urban settings along city streets and neighborhoods. Uplift and other effects affected private homes and businesses.

Nature and flora

2010 Haiti earthquake

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne (Ouest), approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.

Nature and flora

1999 Hector Mine earthquake

The 1999 Hector Mine earthquake occurred on October 16 at 02:46:50 PDT with a moment magnitude of 7.1 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII. The strike-slip earthquake occurred in a remote part of the Mojave Desert, 47 miles (76 km) east-southeast of Barstow, California, inside the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base. Its name comes from a nearby quarry named Hector Mine, which is located 22 kilometers (14 mi) northwest of the epicenter.

Nature and flora

1700 Cascadia earthquake

The 1700 Cascadia earthquake occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone on January 26 with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7–9.2. The megathrust earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate from mid-Vancouver Island, south along the Pacific Northwest coast as far as northern California. The length of the fault rupture was about 1,000 kilometers, with an average slip of 20 meters (66 ft).

Nature and flora

1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes

The 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes were an intense intraplate earthquake series beginning with an initial earthquake of moment magnitude 7.5–7.9 on December 16, 1811, followed by a moment magnitude 7.4 aftershock on the same day. They remain the most powerful earthquakes to hit the contiguous United States east of the Rocky Mountains in recorded history. They, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory, now within the US state of Missouri.