PRESS RELEASE - PMANE
The United states Geological services (USGS) has the most comprehensive data on global earthquakes. The average number of events per year has been steadily increasing. There was a 90% increase in the number of earthquakes (Ritcher scale 6.0 and above) between 1980-89 and 2010-11. There were 106 events per year globally during the eighties, 159 during 2000-09 and 190 during 2010-11
If one looks at the giant earthquakes – Ritcher scale 8.0 and above, like the one experienced day before yesterday, the situation is even more alarming. There were 16 great earthquakes with magnitude above 8.0 during 1900-2011. Of these, 4 events occurred during the first half of the 20th century, 7 during the second half and 5 during 2000-11. The incidence per year is 0.08, 0.14 and 0.45 respectively- a five and a half time increase between 2000 and 2001.
Look at the incidence during this century or ours. There were 21503 earthquakes measuring 5.0 and above on the Richter scale during 2000-2011. The events per day was 3.96 during 2000-04, 5.47 during 2005-09, 5.89 during 2010 and 7.46 during the current year. The incidence has almost doubled in 11 years.
A similar trend can also be seen in the case of active volcanoes.
- Volcanoes active per year
There are several theories for the increased incidence of earthquakes and volcanoes and other natural calamities. Geologists tell us that the plates are moving, space weather scientists say that this is all due to coronal mass ejection. A section of the Christian theologians will ask to read the Revelations. This debate will go on and it must. Along-with the cause, we might also pause and think about the vulnerabilities we are adding on the planet. Because, hazards+ vulnerability = disaster. Earthquakes per se will not leave a lasting mark on the planet. High rise buildings might collapse, people will get killed. There it ends. In the case of technological marvels like the nuclear reactors earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes will impact very large areas for thousands of years in future. Bhabha-Nehru dream is turning as a nightmare to their grandchildren and our children.
13 April 2012