Showing posts with label earthquakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label earthquakes. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A debris field the size of California from the Japan 'quake is heading toward Washington State (and may already be here)

By Jack Brummet, West Coast Editor

A debris field "the size of California" is headed for West Coast--specifically, Washington, Canada, and Alaska.  The debris was swept out to sea after the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March. 

A Seattle oceanographer and author, Curt Ebbesmeyer, says that while the bulk of the debris will take several years to arrive, items that float could hit the Washington shore any day now.  Check out Ebbesmeyer's website, Beachcombers Alert for more information.  He also runs the Flotsametrics website, where he is collecting data on the debris field as it nears Washington State. 

"My message is the debris--big objects--could be here now," said the oceanographic detective. "Aircraft wings, boats, big buoys -- big objects that catch the wind that can be here now."

Ebbesmeyer agrees with the government figures that around 100,000 tons of debris, most of it moving underwater, will hit the U.S. coast in 2013.  He believes, however, that the floating debris (as opposed to the debris being carried underwater by the current) is moving three times faster.

The oceanographer is asking the public to report any found debris on his website,

More than 200,000 buildings were washed out by the waves that followed the 9.0 quake. There are reports of cars, tractor-trailers, capsized ships and even whole houses bobbing around in the open water. There will also be human feet, still in their shoes, washing up.  Feet tend to be the part of humans that survive the seas because they come off bodies at the joints, and are encased in shoes that keep them floating on the surface.  Several thousand bodies were washed out to sea following and while most of the limbs will come apart and break down in the water, feet encased in shoes will float, Mr. Ebbesmeyer said.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Earthquake!: Shakin' All Over In Berkeley

click map to enlarge—the red square is this 'quake

An hour after I arrived in Berkeley tonight, and settled into my hotel, the building started to rock and roll. The 4.2 earthquake, centered in Lafayette, while not so bad, was felt all around the Bay Area. Berkeley was the site (and epicenter) of another earthquake just last week.

Kron-TV says that "The earthquake shook basketball fans at Haas Pavilion on the University of California's campus in Berkeley. The crowd issued a collective "Oooh," as the building briefly shuddered during a timeout in Cal's game against Arizona, then cheered loudly while officials briefly delayed resuming the game."

We experienced dozens of earthquakes when we lived here, especially our year in married student housing in the Berkeley Hills. The Hayward fault ran--literally--through our backyard, and straight through the U.C. campus. We felt little earthquakes every day while we lived there. Fortunately, we had moved to Seattle by the time of the big quake of '89.

When I was 11, the Seattle April 29, 1965 earthquake (epicenter: Shelton) registered a 6.5 magnitude. I was outside at elementary school and watched the massive waves roll through the streets and saw cars bouncing up and down. I was in San Francisco during the April 24, 1984 Morgan Hill earthquake. I worked on the 10th floor of a 1905 skyscraper on Market Street. In that 6.2 quake, my building rocked for several minutes after the quake. It was 15 years 'til I experienced my next big one--the Seattle Nisqually earthquake on February 28, 2001--a 6.8 magnitude temblor, still vivid in my memory. While it's happening all you can think is "when's it going to stop?" As your intestines turn to jelly, you begin to wonder if this is finally the one we've all dreaded; if this is The Big One.