Americans at risk for earthquakes


A house badly damaged after an earthquake. Photo: Creative Commons Flickr

The U.S. Geological Survey released that nearly half of Americans live in areas that are prone to earthquakes on Wednesday, April 22.

The report said,  “Around 28 million people are facing the risk of experiencing “strong, ground shaking in their lifetime,’ but it does not stop there. More than about 148 million people are in danger of damage from ground shaking because of living in high risk areas on the West Coast. Building such as fire stations, public and private schools and hospitals are all at risk fro both damage and death.

This article was one of three released this week, according to USA Today. Another was reported by the USGS but was dealing with the effects that hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” can have on this risk of earthquakes.

The report released Thursday explained how a few small earthquakes were triggered by fracking, but there were not caused by it. They are caused by the result of “wastewater disposal associated with fracking.” Scientists also pinpointed eight ares in which this method or “man-made earthquakes” can occur; Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

These findings were presented in Pasadena, Calif. at a meeting for the Seismology Society of America

The last report of the week was done in the journal of Nature Communications on Tuesday. It reported an area that was hit with a swarm of small earthquakes that can also be a result of fracking.


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