Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Siberia earthquake

Reuters is reporting a strong earthquake hitting Siberia. Fortunately almost nobody lives there -- it seems to be close to the border with Mongolia.

A picture by the story gives it a score of 9 on the Richter scale. That doesn't seem very precise and it may change as they learn more about it. If a 9.0 holds up, that may make it the fourth most powerful earthquake measured.

Update: I read two reports that have listed it as a 6.3 or magnitude-7, in either case, considerably weaker than the nine (9) mentioned earlier. That's still a pretty strong earthquake.

I read up on the region. It took place near Lake Baikal (Baykal is an alternate spelling) which is the deepest freshwater lake and the largest by volume -- it has more water than the US Great Lakes combined! It also freezes from January to May (at least the top of the lake).

The most powerful:

Chile, 9.5, May 1960
Indonesia (the one that causes the tsunami), 9.3, December 2004
Kamchatka, 9.3, 1737
Alaska (US), 9.2, March 1964
Russian Federation, 9.0, November 1952
Cascadia subduction zone, approximately 9, 1700
The tsunami earthquke's measurement was on a different scale than the other three, so its place may actually be different (I'll look more into it in a few hours). Hopefully I'll have an update on the Siberian quake as well (not that I'm a news source).

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