by Skylar Brown
A series of deadly earthquakes have struck many countries around the world, including China, Mexico, and Iran, in the last few weeks resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths.
China is the most recent country to experience an earthquake and also suffered the most damage and deaths of any country. A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck China at 8:02 a.m. on April 20, 2013 in a remote mountainous region of China’s Sichuan province. The quake killed at least 192 people, injured over 11,000 and destroyed many buildings in the area, according to officials. The Xinhua news agency reported that 6,000 troops were in the area to assist with rescue efforts. The Chinese Red Cross also sent personnel to the area with water, food, medicine and rescue equipment. While the government and Red Cross are assisting rescue efforts by removing bodies and searching for those trapped, locals affected by the disaster say little has been done to distribute aid.
Iran has also suffered a series of deadly quakes in April that have ranged in magnitude from a 5.2 to a 7.8 according to the U.S. Geological Society. At least 40 people were killed in Iran and Pakistan as a result of these quakes. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake was so powerful it was felt in New Delhi, India, where buildings swayed from the tremors. The earthquakes in Iran were located relatively close to one of the country’s nuclear power plants in Bushehr, where Iran plans to build additional reactors. There is a global concern that a future quake could affect the power plants in the region resulting in a catastrophe similar to the Fukushima meltdown in 2011 caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
Mexico experienced a 5.9 magnitude quake April 21, 2013 in the western part of the country. There were no immediate reports of casualties or injuries and there was only some minor damage in the region. The quake was powerful enough to be felt 200 miles away in Mexico City where buildings were swaying. State oil monopoly, Pemex, reported a loss of power to one of their refineries in the area, but it was unclear if this interruption was caused by the quake.
The Chaparral provided earthquake safety tips in earlier issues such as having non-perishable foods stored somewhere in your home, a supply of fresh drinking water, a “bug out” bag with emergency supplies in case you need to evacuate and a plan in case of disaster. In the next 30 years it is predicted that California has a 99.7% chance of a 6.7 magnitude quake and a 94% chance of a 7.0 magnitude quake, according to The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast released in 2008.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee recently approved a bill to develop an earthquake early warning system in California, which now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.