Thursday, March 31, 2005


About 4 days ago an earthquake erupted near Sumatra, Indonesia again (the previous earthquake and tsunami is just 3 months ago). Many Malaysians felt the aftershock and escape from their apartments and condominiums in the middle of the night. Probably I was deep asleep, thus didn't hear a thing. I remember when I was young, someone tries to make me up by banging on the front door for hours and still fail :) At last, he had to climb to the second floor and knock on the window.

Anyway, the magnitude on this earthquake was 8.7 (the previous one was 9.0!). So, I was thinking are natural disaster and earthquake more common nowadays? The answer is no, at least for earthquake. Earthquake of magnitude 8 or more are pretty common and it happen almost annually. According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 18 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year. There are about 1.3 million very minor earthquake (2 - 2.9) annually, 130K minor earthquake (3 - 3.9) and 13K light earthquake (4 - 4.9) happen annually.

I think I assume natural disaster is on the rise because it happened quite often around my country recently. Malaysia is in a non-volcanic zone, but we are surrounded by volcanic area from our neighbor, Indonesia. Hopefully DOOMS DAY is no where too near.

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