Category Archives: geohazards

On the L’Aquila trial verdict: earthquake safety is about door locks, not fire alarms

Imagine that one day, an apartment block in a major city catches fire. The fire brigade arrive too late, and the whole block burns down with people still trapped inside. An investigation reveals that the building’s fire alarm system was … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, geohazards, public science, society

Where tsunamis and nuclear power could meet

Out of all the devastation wrought by the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, the escalating disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant has ended up having the biggest global impact. A catastrophic loss of cooling led to meltdowns, explosions … Continue reading

Categories: geohazards, society

In slow-moving hurricanes, the danger comes from all the water

When Hurricane Isaac passed over New Orleans as a Category 1 storm on the seventh anniversary of the disastrous Hurricane Katrina, everyone in the US let out a big sigh of relief. A category 1 storm, the lowest level of … Continue reading

Categories: by Anne, geohazards, hydrology

Friday Focal Mechanism: M 7.4, Oaxaca, Mexico

The largest earthquake to hit the planet this week was in Mexico, which was shaken on Tuesday by a magnitude 7.4 earthquake. The epicentre was in the Oaxaca region about 300 kilometres southwest of Mexico city, and the rupture was … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, focal mechanisms, geohazards

The humbling legacy of the Tohoku earthquake

A year ago on Sunday, one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded ruptured the subduction megathrust that dips beneath the east coast of Japan. The rupture displaced the seafloor by tens of metres and generated tsunami waves up to 20 … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, geohazards, tectonics