This morning, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Belize and Honduras, resulting a few fatalities and some property damage.
Paul Earl, a seismologist with the United States Geological Survey, told Popsci.com that the quake emanated from the Swan Island Transform fault, a strike-slip fault not unlike the San Andreas fault in California. Both the location -- 80 miles off shore -- and the type of fault helped minimize the destruction caused by the event.
Earthquakes tend to be more dangerous when they occur beneath populated areas with poor infrastructure. However, ocean-based quakes can also sow terrible devastation by generating tsunamis. This particular earthquake struck away from population centers, the strike-slip fault is less likely to produce a tsunami than the subduction faults located at many ocean/continent boundaries. All of those factors lead Earl to compare this earthquake to the 1999 Hector Mine quake in southern California.
Earl said the quake was "not a tectonic surprise," as the joint between the North American and Caribbean plates is generally active, moving at about 0.9 inches per year. In 1976, the area generated a much more deadly 7.5 magnitude quake that resulted in around 23,000 deaths.
Earthquake may be predicted or not. That is why it is called natural calamity. So we should always be prepare and try to protect our environment because I believe that nature can also be too dangerous when we continuously destroy them. In relation to environment care, did you know an insect called Phobaeticus Chani? Phobaeticus Chani is officially the world's longest insect. The erstwhile insect, Phobaeticus Chani or Chans Megastick is a stick insect from Malaysia that measures up to about two feet long, and was unknown until late 2008. It's one of several newly discovered species that ought to call for a boost to science funding and a payday to science programs. Another fascinating new species is Leptotyphlops carlae, or the Barbados Threadsnake. It's incredibly tiny, smaller than a lot of worms, but it is an actual snake. It is oft forgot how little we actually know about our own world, and scientific study is worth payday advances as we can learn more about Phobaeticus Chani and other species as yet unknown.
That's interesting to ready why a 7.1 earthquake can be so deadly somewhere, yet in another place a 7.1 does minimal damage. I didn't know there were different types of fault lines either.