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Thread: Earthquakes. Most safe and least safest places on earth?

  1. #1 Earthquakes. Most safe and least safest places on earth? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    When i tried googling this all i got was posts on where to hide during earthquakes. What im trying to figure out on the other hand is which continents/countries are the most safe and which ones are the least safest regarding earthquakes?

    The reason for my curiosity is that a guy from school mentioned this week that i shouldnt fear earthquakes in Norway, europe where i live because its the safest place on earth from earthquakes.


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    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    One of the least safest areas of the world is Istanbul and the countries along Adriatic sea. Specially Istanbul because it's located on top of two shifting earth plates(I don't know if that's the right expression)


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  4. #3  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i'd say one of the safest places earthquake-wise is most parts of Africa, which for a large part consists of ancient stable cratons, and apart from the east-african rift valley and its northern border where it pushes into europe only has passive margins
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  5. #4  
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    Nowadays "urban environment" applies to regions of the Earth. Urban environments are most dangerous (look up), additionally if fires grow uncontrollable.

    EDIT: I should expand by mentioning that earthquake preparedness varies considerably from region to region. For example in Japan PA speakers mounted throughout every neighbourhood tell people what to do, where to go, and "Hitomi-chan, your mommy's waiting for you at the schoolyard." etc. Also Californians and Chileans are relatively prepared.

    Possibly the most dangerous place, because of earthquake intensity and non-preparedness, is Vancouver, British Columbia. We have essentially the same plate movement of California or Chile, yet "we don't get earthquakes" because in our case the opposing plates are "sticky" and so relieve their accumulated energy only every 400 years or so. This is a megathrust event. The compressed coast slides about 20m toward the Pacific, and drops about 1m. The last event occurred in 1700, striking Japan with tsunami. Part of Greater Vancouver is built on sea-level river delta, so at least those parts submerged needn't worry about fire. :|
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    The 'least safe' places are tectonic plate junctions. The following reference has a map showing where these are.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics

    The safest places would be Australia and southern Africa. Least safe obviously includes Chile! But Norway is well clear of the danger zones.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman Rickdog's Avatar
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    Depends on the point of view and how you may analize the issue.
    Chile is one of the most probable places, where an earthquake will get produced, but since this fact being right, we are kind of well prepared for these kind of events, since we are always certain that in a 20 year period, we will have to suffer a big one.

    Imho, the unsafest place where to be if eventually an earthquake takes place its where it is unexpected by not being probable by any means, as Australia and Southern Africa. I don`t think that their constructions are even anti sysmic, so if building start falling down, the numbers of dead and injured would be huge compared to the places where earthquakes usually hit.
    :?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Rickdog

    You are correct. I used the word 'unsafe' to mean where there are most likely to be bad earthquakes, but a minor earthquake can be very dangerous if people are not prepared. The Haiti earthquake is a good example.

    Chile is a country, like Japan and New Zealand, where earthquakes are expected, and buildings are designed to withstand them. Since earthquake deaths and injuries are mostly caused by falling buildings and parts of buildings, constructing to high standards makes an enormous difference. The recent Chile quake was an exception, since it was so massive at 8.8 on the Richter scale. At those energies, even well built structures may collapse.
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  9. #8 Re: Earthquakes. Most safe and least safest places on earth? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    When i tried googling this all i got was posts on where to hide during earthquakes. What im trying to figure out on the other hand is which continents/countries are the most safe and which ones are the least safest regarding earthquakes?

    The reason for my curiosity is that a guy from school mentioned this week that i shouldnt fear earthquakes in Norway, europe where i live because its the safest place on earth from earthquakes.
    To essentially restate what's been said: the safest places are those that are located on stable (shield) cratons. My own location, Manitoba, for example, hasn't had active tectonism in 1.8 billion years.

    The next safest place would be areas of active tectonism in developed countries. For example, Japan and the west coasts of US and Canada.

    Next in line would be developing countries such as Chile.

    Lowest on the list would be examples like Haiti, where an earthquake 1000 times less powerful than Chile's caused x1000 the human death toll.
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  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    But Norway is well clear of the danger zones.
    Only if we choose to ignore the the Storegga Slide which generated massive tsunamis off the Norwegain coast within the last 50,000 years, triggered by earthquakes and facilitated by gas hydrates.
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  11. #10  
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    I think about some areas,those are nearest by Sea where Earthquake possibilities is more than other ares.
    deadliest tsunamis
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  12. #11  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Here's a global seismic hazard map.

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  13. #12  
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    The Sahara is apparentlly quite safe, particularly if you a nomad living in a tent. Injuries from a tent falling on one are rare.
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  14. #13  
    Northern Horse Whisperer scheherazade's Avatar
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    There was an earthquake just this morning that shook our home quite significantly.

    5.7 73km WSW of Haines, Alaska 2014-06-04 04:58:58 UTC-07:00 10.0 km

    By road, we are approximately 400 km or about 250 miles from Haines, Alaska but as the crow flies (or earthquakes rumble) we are only half that distance apart.
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