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Here are some pictures and information on some major earthquake events -

Earthquakes by Andy Higgs (University of Wolverhampton)


Washington 2001 -

The quake occured at 18:55 GMT (10:55 AM Pacific Standard Time). The magnitude was 6.8. The epicenter was between Tacoma and Olympia, Washington, about 10 miles northeast of Olympia. The focus of the quake was 30 miles deep. It was felt strongly in Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia. There were also reports that it was felt in San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

320 people were injured, 4 seriously. Damage estimates are over $2 billion. There have been considerably reports of damage, especially in Olympia near the epicenter of the quake. There have been many buildings there suffering structural damage. There is a large crack in the dome of the State Capitol Building and serious damage to other state office buildings.


Loma Prieta 1989 -
The Loma Prieta Earthquake struck at 5:04 PM, October 17, 1989. The epicenter was located in the Santa Cruz mountains, near Loma Prieta peak, about 70 miles south of San Francisco. Measured at 6.9 on the Richter Scale, the worst damage was in the nearby cities of Watsonville and Santa Cruz. There was also considerable damage throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in San Francisco and Oakland. 66 people died, over 3757 injuries, $10 billion in damage.


Kobe 1995 -
This 6.9 Magnitude earthquake on January 16, 1995 in Kobe, Japan caused extensive damage and loss of life. It has been studied extensively, especially in relation to the Northridge Earthquake in Southern California, almost exactly one year earlier. Both earthquakes had similar magnitudes and resulted from similar faults. The damage in Kobe, however was much worse than in Northridge. One major difference was in the different construction of buildings in California and Japan. Many buildings in Kobe were older and had heavy tile roofs that collapsed on the occupants. In California, most houses are wooden. These houses shook but generally did not collapse.


Alaska 1964 -
The Great Alaska Earthquake that struck the Anchorage area on Good Friday, March 27, 1964 at 5:36 PM registered 8.6 on the Richter Scale, although scientists now favor a different magnitude scale for very large quakes that shows this quake as 9.2. This made it the largest quake that has hit the United States in recorded history and one of the largest known worldwide. Geologically, the effects were widespread and dramatic. Large areas were lifted up or dropped by several feet, landslides were extensive, ground failure led to large fissures in the ground, landslides into bays caused huge seiche waves locally and a tsunami caused damage thousands of miles away. Luckily, the casualties were considerably lighter than might be expected for a disaster of this magnitude. 115 deaths are attributed to the quake. This relatively low number can be attributed to the sparse population of the area and the fact that the quake occurred when most people were at home.