Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sichuan Quake - One in 4 Thousand Year Event


PARIS — People who were killed, injured or bereaved in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake had the cruel misfortune to be victims of an event that probably occurs just once in four millennia, seismologists said on Sunday.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Shen Zhengkang of the China Earthquake Administration and colleagues said the May 12, 2008 quake comprised a strong seismic wave, unusual geology and the failure of three subterranean "barriers" to resist the shock.

One in 4 thousand years. So, this earthquake really shouldn't have happened, according to the small-minded thinking of our local city bureaucrats. This is waaaay beyond living memory! But, ha ha! Nature has a way to fool ya! There are an awful lot of places with remote odds, so one is going to be set off every few years. Makes one wonder how you really prepare for earthquakes. Should you plan for 1:100, 1:1000, or 1:4000? I know that nominally our nuclear plants plan for 1:10000, but I've had words about their competence in past blogs. If the Toronto area planned for 1:1000, they'd actually have to admit the possibility of earthquakes! That ain't gonna happen, folks!

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