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The Greek word for shaking, and when applied to earth, is siesmos, thus the science of earthquakes is called seismology (The World Book 1985). Earthquakes are a huge catastrophe, and because of their unpredictable occurrence and enormous capacity of destruction, they have brought fear to people for centuries. They consist of rapid vibrations of rock near the earth's surface, and a single shock may last no more than a few seconds. However, a series of smaller shocks may last up to five minutes. To fully understand earthquakes, one must take a closer look at them.

The Denali Fault quake of 2002 was the strongest ever recorded in the interior of Alaska. The powerful earthquake struck the area on November 3, 2002. It ruptured the Earth's surface for 209 miles along the Susitna Glacier, Denali, and Totschunda Faults. The magnitude of the quake was a colossal 7.6. This massive quake started with the thrust of the Susitna Glacier Fault, continuing on the Denali Fault, where essentially horizontal right-lateral movement transmitted eastward at over seven thousand miles per hour. Therefore, obstructing streams, glacial ice, frozen soil, and rock, which opened cracks so incredible wide it could literally swallow a bus (Fuis and Wald, 014-03). An epicenter is the point on Earth’s surface directly above the focus of the earthquake. The epicenter of the November 3rd earthquake was approximately seventy-five miles north of Anchorage. There were several aftershocks from that point outward (Science Daily, 3). The massive earthquake caused numerous landslides and road closures. In spite of this, there was very minimal damaged and cause very few injuries. Luckily, the pipeline that ran right through the fault was unharmed. As a precaution they shut down the pipeline for sixty-six hours. They are now using this earthquake to determine what the next big one will be like.

December 26, 2004 a devastating earthquake hit with a magnitude of 9.0 located off the west coast of Northern Sumatra. This was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. This earthquake caused a major tsunami, which caused more casualties than any other in recorded history. Over one hundred fifty thousand people were killed over twenty-five thousand people were missing. Millions of people were displaced in South Asia and East Africa and over one hundred sixty thousand in various places from Thailand to Kenya. Information from the epicenter states that the Indian Plate was moving beneath the Burma Plate. The resistance and compressional forces accumulated. As this was happening, the two plates slipped and ruptured about one thousand two hundred kilometers in the ocean floor with a vertical displacement of about fifteen meters. This caused a tsunami to occur in the Indian Ocean bringing about significant damage (, article 5). This world spread disaster made people realize that disaster can be right around the corner. People have made precautions such as food kits and safety kits; this way in case of another tsunami they can be as prepared as possible.

The last earthquake happened September 25, 2003 in Hokkaido, Japan. This was the largest earthquake in 2003. The magnitude was at an all time high

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