Archive for July, 2009

Earthquakes 2009

Statistic shows that earthquakes have become more often, more massive and more unpredicted during last years.

An earthquake struck off the coast of Honduras on Thursday, May 28, 2009, 125 km (75 miles) NNE of La Ceiba, Honduras, Magnitude 7.3

At least 7 people killed, 40 injured and more than 130 buildings damaged or destroyed in northern Honduras. The central span of a major bridge at El Progreso was destroyed. At least 5 buildings destroyed and 25 damaged in Belize. Felt in much of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Also felt in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Virgin Islands and in parts of Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. Seiches were reported in swimming pools at La Ceiba and Roatan and ground cracks and possible liquefaction was observed at Monkey River, Belize.
The shallow, magnitude 4.7 seismic event that occurred on 25 May 2009 at 00:54:43 UTC is linked to the claim of a nuclear test by North Korean officials. While the USGS cannot positively identify the seismic event as a nuclear test, it was shallow and located in the vicinity of the 9 October 2006 North Korean nuclear test (magnitude 4.3). Moreover, comparisons of the seismograms of the 9 October 2006 and 25 May 2009 events at individual seismic stations shows similar features, suggesting that the two events are in close spatial proximity and are the same type of source, although the more recent event is larger.
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck about 3 miles east of Los Angeles International airport at 8:39 p.m. (PDT) local time, at a depth of 8.5 miles. Given that the location is in a densely populated part of the Los Angeles basin, it was widely felt. Initial estimates from the USGS ShakeMap indicate that although strong shaking will have been felt by many people, damage is expected to be light.
An earthquake occurred 95 km (60 miles) NE of ROME, Italy on April 6, 2009. The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available.
At least 287 people killed, 1,000 injured, 40,000 homeless and 10,000 buildings damaged or destroyed in the L’Aquila area. Felt throughout central Italy.
The April 6th 2009 earthquake in Central Italy occurred as a result of normal faulting on a NW-SE oriented structure in the central Apennines, a mountain belt that runs from the Gulf of Taranto in the south to the southern edge of the Po basin in northern Italy.
You can check out amount of recent, this year earthquakes on the site of scientists of the changing world http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqarchives/significant/sig_2009.php
Look at last massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that have been taking place just last week moved the south of New Zealand closer to Australia, scientists said Wednesday. Ken Gledhill, scientist of GNS Science said the shift illustrated the huge force of the tremor, the biggest in the world so far this year.

“Basically, New Zealand just got a little bit bigger is another way to think about it,” he told AFP. Actually the South Island moved about 30 centimetres closer to Australia, the east coast of the island moved only one centimetre westwards, he said. “For a very large earthquake, although it was very widely felt, there were very few areas that were severely shaken,” Gledhill said

The latest quake was the biggest since February 2, 1931 when a 7.8 quake killed at least 256 people in the North Island city of Napier, APN reports.

The biggest quake recorded here measured 8.2 and caused major damage in 1855 in the fledgling European settlement that later became the capital Wellington.

The latest quake was unusual in striking right on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific plates and will be important in researching earthquake hazards, Gledhill said.

Mysteries of Flower Formation

For thousands of years, people have pondered the mysteries of flower development and how these flowers ultimately give rise to fruit. Martin Yanofsky, professor of biology at UC San Diego, discusses recent studies that have begun to unravel these long-standing mysteries, leading to a detailed understanding of how a handful of genes interact to direct the formation of flowers and fruit. This new-found knowledge offers remarkable opportunities for increasing the yield of agriculturally important crop plants. Series: “Evolution Matters”