Articles on Earthquakes

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The more we understand about earthquakes, the more we can do to reduce their impact. EPA/Kimimasa Mayama

Underground sounds: why we should listen to earthquakes

The magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku-Oki earthquake of March 11 last year was the largest earthquake in Japan’s modern history. In fact, it was the fourth-largest earthquake anywhere in the world since 1900. The earthquake…
We know how much damage tsunamis can cause, we need to know more about when and where they come from. AAP

We should have been prepared for the Fukushima tsunami

A year ago yesterday the Tōhoku-Oki earthquake and resultant tsunami hit the Japanese coastline, triggering the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster. A year on, many questions are being asked about how bad…
How does Queensland tourism recover after a cyclone and floods earlier this year? AFP Photo/Paul Crcok

Danger in paradise: resurrecting tourism after natural disasters

This year’s natural disasters have been an omnipresent and unwelcome theme impacting on tourism to Japan, New Zealand, Queensland and Thailand. Long after the initial horror of a natural disaster, the…
Dr Bernado de Bernardinis told residents to go home and enjoy a glass of red. Now he’s in the dock. AFP PHOTO/ TIZIANA FABI

Manslaughter trial of L'Aquila earthquake scientists will cause serious aftershocks

This week, a committee of six scientists (including Dr Enzo Boschi, formerly president of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology) and one government official, whose role was to advise…
The magnitude 9 earthquake that hit Japan in March caused 400km of land slip. Flickr

Japan quake caused 400km seismic slip

The magnitude 9 earthquake that occurred in Japan in March this year caused a 400km long land rupture, releasing centuries…
The last 10 years have seen three of the seven biggest earthquakes ever recorded. Tubbi/Wikimedia Commons

Are we living through an earthquake cluster?

Since the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, there have been several major events, and a large number of magnitude-8 earthquakes – a cluster, it could be said, of large earthquakes. The last time we saw this was…
Is earthquake prediction even possible? Soe Than WIN/AFP

Revealing cracks in seismology

Why have so many lives been lost in Japan and New Zealand recently? And why have so many survivors – the so-called “lucky ones” – had their livelihoods and homes destroyed? As a seismologist, I ask myself…
Is the nuclear industry facing unfair criticism? AFP Photo/Don Emmert

Nuclear will survive, because it has to

Japan relies on nuclear power for about 30% of its electricity. It has few natural resources and imports large quantities of coal, gas and oil at an ever increasing cost. Some Japanese people are not in…
Should we be able to better “manage” extreme events? Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

Learning from the Japan tsunami

What lessons can we learn from the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami? Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can, of course, question the wisdom of placing nuclear power plants in coastal locations…

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