The interaction between physical sciences and humanities is nowhere more intricate than in the study of causes and effects of earthquakes. Obvious and not-soobvious interactions that change with time and space provide an amazingly fertile field for cultivating and harvesting people’s ingenuity and resilience. Who would think that there is a relationship between artesian wells and earthquakes? In his landmark lecture at the UK Institution of Civil Engineers in London in 1990, James Jackson (University of Cambridge) showed that earthquake fault movement may have caused the accumulation of underground water, which in turn attracted early civilizations to regions of the world that suffer repeatedly from earthquakes. The interaction between strong attractants and repellants was and still is in play, defining the location, and fate, of civilizations. California is an example of this intricate relationship, being the most seismic part of the United States, with strong and damaging earthquakes at about 20-year intervals, whilst being the largest state economy, and fluctuating between the sixth and ninth largest economy worldwide, had it been an independent state. Read more
The Japanese Emperor has made an extremely rare television appearance, saying he is “deeply worried” about the crisis his country is facing following last week’s earthquake and tsunami and urging an all out rescue effort.
Emperoro Akihito made the comments after technicians temporarily abandoned a quake-crippled nuclear plant as radiation briefly surged. The situation for news crews in Japan is complicated by the uncertainty surrounding the nuclear issue, limited supplies, damaged infrastructure and extremely cold weather. Read more
The death toll from Japan’s strongest earthquake on record eclipsed that of the 1995 Kobe temblor and foreign rescue workers began leaving as the chances of pulling survivors from the rubble faded.
At least 7,348 people died when the March 11 quake sent a surge of water inland, smashing ships, cars and buildings and razing entire towns. A 72-member rescue and medical team from Australia prepared to depart Japan, donating its camp of tents to the Japanese government.
More than a week since the magnitude-9 earthquake struck off Japan’s northeast coast, hundreds of thousands of people are homeless and the government is struggling to restore supplies of power and fuel. Panic buying by Tokyo residents worried about a nuclear leak from a power plant north of the city began to ease, as convenience stores and supermarkets restocked. Read more