Earthquakes From Mountains to Plains: No Climate is Safe From Change

Earthquakes From Mountains to Plains: No Climate is Safe From Change

Rescuers work amid collapsed building in Amatrice, central Italy, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Rescue crews raced against time Thursday looking for survivors from the earthquake that leveled three towns in central Italy and Italy once again anguished over trying to secure its medieval communities built on seismic lands. (Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco via AP)

The Italian cities that were at the epicenter of the devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred Tuesday, Aug. 23,  are in ruins as the death toll continues to climb.

The cities of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto as well as other parts of central Italy were shook by an aftershock with a magnitude of 4.7 the following morning. The death toll has risen to 250 with more than 1,000 people missing.

The same area was also affected by similar quakes in 2009 that killed over 300 people.

“I’ve never seen a quake quite so similar to another one,” CNN International meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said, calling the juxtaposition “eerily similar.”

 

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the central spine of the mountainous country is incredibly seismically active and has fault lines running through it. Many of the buildings were constructed with unreinforced brick and concrete frames offering less resistance to the powerful quake.

StateImpact: Oklahoma reports that the state has seen a large increase in earthquakes in recent years. Last Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a 5.8 earthquake in Pawnee, Oklahoma, making it the strongest the state has seen.

There is a general consensus among scientists that the increase Oklahoma has seen in earthquake activity has been caused by disposal wells, which are used to dispose of waste from oil and gas drilling operations.  This includes hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

With many severe earthquakes happening globally as of late, in places such as Nepal, China, and Italy, scientists believe that climate change could be to blame.

“Climate change may play a critical role in triggering certain faults in certain places where they could kill a hell of a lot of people,” University College London’s Professor emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards Bill McGuire said during an interview with Newsweek last year.

There is evidence from the Ice Age that has shown that the planets uneasy web of seismic faults are incredibly sensitive to the small pressure changes that are caused by climate change.

“We will work relentlessly until the last person is found and make sure no one is trapped,”  Lorenzo Botti, a rescue team spokesman, told the Associated Press.

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