Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for May 16th, 2008

No End Seen to China Quake Aftershocks

Posted by feww on May 16, 2008

Another major earthquake in the making?

China Earthquake: Large Cluster of Powerful Shocks!

  • Mainshock: 7.9 Magnitude – Monday, May 12, 2008 at 02:28:01 [time at epicenter]
  • Latest aftershock: 5.5 Magnitude – Friday, May 16, 2008 at 01:25:48 PM [time at epicenter]
  • Total number of major aftershocks: 59 [and continuing]

The last 4 aftershocks have strengthened in magnitude from 4.3 to 5.5 Mw. Is there another major shock in the making?

This map shows the predicted (theoretical) travel times, in minutes, of the compressional (P) wave from the earthquake location to points around the globe. The heavy black lines shown are the approximate distances to the P-wave shadow zone (103 to 140 degrees). (Caption: USGS)

Shadow zone

The shadow zone is the area of the earth from angular distances of 104 to 140 degrees from a given earthquake that does not receive any direct P waves. The shadow zone results from S waves being stopped entirely by the liquid core and P waves being bent (refracted) by the liquid core.

Did you know?

Through measuring how P and S waves travel through the earth and out the other side, a seismic wave shadow zone was discovered in about 1910. From the lack of S waves and a great slowing of the P wave velocity (by about 40%) it was deduced that the outer core is made of liquid. The shadow zone also defined the diameter of the core.

[If the outer core was not made of liquid, Earth could probably breakup into several pieces as a result of a v. large earthquake! FEWW]

Text and image: USGS.

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Chinese paratroopers rescuing survivors or preventing plague?

Posted by feww on May 16, 2008

The Riddle of the Chinese Paratroopers

China parachutes 100 paratroopers to “cut-off” quake area

The first batch of 100 elite paratroopers were parachuted into an area near the epicenter of Monday’s earthquake in southwest China [“cut-off” area in Maoxian county, northeast of the epicenter in Wenchuan] Wednesday afternoon [about 60 hours later], reported Xinhua.


Elite Paratroopers landing near quake epicenter. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

So what’s the problem?

1. There are an estimated 30,000 people burried in the area. How could 100 paratroopers help rescue such large number of victims?

2. The paratroopers landed two days after the mainshock had struck. By then the survival chances of the victims who had been buried alive had already been reduced by about 80 percent.

3. Anyone rescued from the rubble would need medical attention, freshwater, food, blankets, tents … to survive. Did the paratroopers carry all of the vital supplies in their rucksacks?

Therefore, the question remains: Are the paratroopers sent to rescue the “survivors,” or to “finish off the job,” i.e., bury everyone, alive or dead, to prevent potential outbreaks of plague and other pandemics? [The Beijing Olympics are just around the corner!]

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How Many More Survivors?

Posted by feww on May 16, 2008

The Clueless Wen Jiabao: “Most wide-spreading impact”

Chinese PM, Wen Jiabao, was quoted as saying that the 7.9-magnitude quake that hit southwestern Sichuan province on Monday had the “most wide-spreading impact” of any earthquake since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, Xinhua news agency quoted Wen as saying.

[Note, for reasons unknown to FEWW moderators, the earthquake cluster’s mainshock was previously reported as magnitude 7.8, erroneously!]


The aftermath of a large earthquake cluster. (Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

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