Thursday, January 28, 2010

Betting on the Next Earthquake Disaster


Santo Domingo.- The magnitude 7 earthquake which practically destroyed Haiti’s capital on January 12 didn’t surprise the scientists who study the Caribbean’s seismic risks, but one of them went even further, affirming that if he had to wager as to where the tremor would occur, he’d bet on Dominican Republic’s North, and not Haiti.

Oh! We earthquake people so much need an international betting pool! Where will the next disaster pop out of the woodwork? How would we define that it meets the grade? 50,000 dead? or only 200, like something in California. Perhaps by economic loss? over 1 billion?

For economic loss, I pick Toronto, with 50 people dead, and 10,000 homeless. For high life loss, I pick Lima, with 100,000 dead. Who will set up the pool? I'll bet a whole day of blog earnings on it! :)

*The preceeding has been black humour. There is no betting pool, we earthquake scientists are too saintly to do such a horrible thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Septentronial fault complex has produced ~8.0 - 8.5 quakes... and reportedly hasn't gone off in about 800 years. Basaed on Spanish maps, in 1509 the Semana peninsula was a peninsula, then some time later became an island ~1700's, and is now back to being a peninsula. It's on the North side of the Semtentronial at about 19°15'38.33"N 69°30'30.28"W.

Will it pop? Beats me. But with ~ 20 mm/year stress total, and 7 mm/year being taken up by the Enriquillo-Plantain fault, you have about 13 mm/year stress that is unaccounted for. My bet would be that Northern fault.

BTW: Not a Geologist.