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ARCHIVED - Are earthquakes more frequent?

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Damaged bridge.

Given the litany of recent devastating earthquakes, it may seem that we’re going through a time of increased seismic activity, but we’re not. According to Dr. Clague, “The numbers of earthquakes and tsunami have remained constant over a long period of geological time.”

The big difference, he says, is our burgeoning global population, which has increased almost threefold since 1950. As well, more of us are crowding into cities sitting on or near fault lines, and we are concentrating more wealth there: our homes, our corporate headquarters, and our financial, transportation and telecommunications hubs.

So while the likelihood of an earthquake hasn’t increased, the possible consequences have. When an earthquake strikes, it can harm more people and destroy more of what keeps our society ticking along. end

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ISSN 1927-0275 = Dimensions (Ottawa. Online)