Articles on Earthquakes

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Punta Ventana, a popular tourist attraction near Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, before and after the Jan. 6 earthquake. AFP/Getty/Wikipedia

Puerto Rico earthquakes imperil island’s indigenous heritage

Puerto Rico was once home to about 110,000 Taínos, an indigenous people decimated by the Spanish conquest. Their ancient homeland was located in the area hit hard by recent earthquakes.
The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church lies in ruins after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Jan. 7, 2020. AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

Earthquake forecast for Puerto Rico: Dozens more large aftershocks are likely

Puerto Rico's January earthquakes came after many foreshocks and have been followed by numerous aftershocks. Scientists are studying these sequences to improve earthquake forecasting.
Typhoon Faxai left many people without power and other services for several days when it hit the greater Tokyo region in September. NASA/Worldview

Typhoons and other disasters force Japan to rethink its city vs rural living plans for the future

Talk of moving people out of Japan's cities into rural areas is changing after the recent cyclone hit near Tokyo. Smarter, more connected cities may be a safer way to go.
How many lakes are in Alaska? Thermokarst lakes on Alaska’s North Slope are self-similar and fractal. Painting by Cherissa Dukelow

Mathematics of scale: Big, small and everything in between

What do earthquakes, wealthy Italian families and your circulatory system have in common? Scientists use fractals, self-similarity and power laws to translate from local to global scales.
Residents takes pictures near the ruins of a house at Betobo village in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 11 2018. Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA

Why do people in Indonesia still live in disaster-prone areas?

Earthquakes and tsunami in Indonesia this year did not only leave a deep sorrow. It made us rethink the relationship between humans, technology and nature in Indonesia.
In this Oct. 10, 2018, photo, a man walks past a boat swept ashore by a tsunami in Wani village on the outskirt of Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 28, triggered a tsunami and mudslides. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)

Why some earthquakes are so deadly

Last month's earthquake in Sulawesi, Indonesia was large, but not huge. It was the aftereffects that made it so devastating.
Moments after an earthquake in Palu, Friday 29 September 2018, thousands of houses and people in the area were swallowed by the ground because of liquefaction. Mast Irham/EPA

2012 research had identified Indonesian city Palu as high risk of liquefaction

While the term liquafaction has only been widely discussed in Indonesia and the world in the past week, Palu's susceptibility to liquefy had already been studied.

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