Pondering the wisdom of placing our major galleries, libraries and theatres on the banks of a flood-prone river

Massive Earthquake Could Hit US West Coast, Scientists Warn

A massive earthquake could strike San Francisco at any moment, scientists warn. When it does, the city and its surrounding area can expect to be slammed with the force of hundreds of atomic bombs.

San Francisco from the Marin Headlands on March 31, 2019 during California’s Superbloom. Credit: Noah Friedlander, via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a study that focused on the San Francisco Bay Area Hayward Fault. It explored what the region’s impacts would be, if it was affected by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

The Hayward Fault, which includes Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, and Fremont, is one of the most dangerous faults in the country — and it’s also one of the most urbanized…READ ON

Pondering the wisdom of placing our major galleries, libraries and theatres on the banks of a flood-prone river

As a historian, I spend many hours at the State Library of Queensland looking out the large glass panels gazing at the Brisbane River. Its tranquil brown water quietly meanders past, offering an ideal place to watch the CityCat ferries and the occasional passing rower.

But this weekend the water was roaring, racing past the library, full of pontoons, boats and debris. The river broke its banks, reclaiming its floodplain and inundating buildings in its path, until the flood peaked at 3.85 metres at the Brisbane gauge.

Maiwar (Turrbal name for the Brisbane River) has a long history of floods, as does the south end peninsula or Kurilpa, “place of the water rat”. This land, once full of waterholes, creeks and wetlands provided sustenance for Turrbal and Jagara peoples for centuries…READ ON

Alaska sees world’s largest earthquake for 2nd consecutive year, new report says

Scientists have released the latest data detailing Alaska’s 2021 earthquakes.

For the second year in a row, the state has taken the title for having the year’s largest quake in the world.  In 2020, there was a 7.8 earthquake off the coast of Perryville on the Aleutian Chain. And 2021 had an 8.2 quake nearby.

That 8.2 quake was also the largest in the United States in 50 years, according to the report.

“The last earthquake comparable to this size was in 1965,” Alaska Earthquake Center Seismologist Lea Gardine, who worked on the report, said.

“As far as having the largest earthquake in the world, that’s not surprising to us. We have a very, very active region of seismicity,” Gardine said.

There is no reason to believe these two quakes mean anything significant, she said. The Aleutian Islands always have the potential for large earthquakes at any given time. Gardine said an earthquake in 1938 happened in a very similar way to last year’s 8.2…READ ON

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