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Earthquake Review and Forecast for May 2016

Updated on May 1, 2016
Map and Data courtesy of IRIS and the Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog.
Map and Data courtesy of IRIS and the Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog.

April has been very active these past few years..


Last month I was anticipating one of two possible extreme seismic situations for worldwide earthquake activity of 6.8 magnitude or larger earthquakes. I expected either the continuation of a slow down in activity or that the prior inactivity was a calm before a storm. This month turned out to be a bit of a storm.

Source of data= Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog.
Source of data= Global Centroid Moment Tensor Catalog.

Things were just warming up during the first third of the month..


My forecast spelled out that the most likely period for strong seismic activity would be during the first 10 days of the month. It was expected to be below average after that. What happened instead was that the first 10 days represented a building up of activity around the world, starting with more than the usual number of earthquakes in the magnitude range of 6.0-6.3. There were also three earthquakes in the 6.6-6.8 magnitude range during this period in Vanuatu. There was also a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan on the 10th of April.


The most active period of the month soon followed, starting with a M6.9 earthquake in the Myanmar-India border region on 13 April, followed by two deadly earthquakes; a M7 earthquake in the southern area of Japan on the 15th of April (causing 39 deaths, along with 9 deaths from the M6.2 earthquake which preceded it the day before), and culminating in a M7.8 earthquake near the coast of Ecuador on 16 April, which was responsible for at least 660 casualties. This all took me by surprise, there does not appear to be any obvious reason for this burst of activity in relation to astrological factors.


Seismically, things calmed down after that until a M7 earthquake hit the Vanuatu area again on the 28th of April (followed the next day by a M6.6 event that was out to sea, west of Mexico). The large seismic activity in Vanuatu for April, along with the burst of events in the middle of the month both have in common that they are most likely random or unrelated to astrology. Two areas of the earth often do not show links to astrology; namely Vanuatu and Pakistan.


My best guess for worldwide seismic activity in May, is that it will be at least average (for significant events of at least 6.8 magnitude). Key dates and times (in Universal or Greenwich time) for this month are 9 May at 1200UT, and 24 May at 2000UT. The windows that surround these peak times will extend from 11 hours before, to 25 hours after those times.

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    Joseph Ritrovato 18 months ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks for your comment lions44.. Good to hear you found my hub of interest. I have been researching for the past few years to find links between not so traditional astrology and the largest of earthquakes and think that I have made progress, but mainly in the timing (choosing a possible location is quite a bit harder to determine). Also of note is that, in my estimation, about 25% of all quakes of around 7.0 magnitude or greater are random.

    Since I also live in Washington, but almost in Oregon, the possibility of a potentially destructive earthquake is on my mind as well. I wrote an earlier hub on the subject of the mega quake that is much more likely to occur in over 100 years than in the next 50.

    In a nutshell, I discuss how the risk is over-rated for that particular quake (the “Really Big One” of around magnitude 9.0), but an underrated risk is for an 8.1-8.4 magnitude earthquake off the southern coast of Oregon. That would be about 175 miles from my present location, but a quake that size could still do damage to unreinforced or cheaply built buildings or those sitting atop landfill. Such a quake would also be 90% likely to produce a tsunami and inundate nearby coastal towns.

    That quake, or the more likely one, would be too far from you to do any signficant damage, however a quake near your location, unrelated to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, is perhaps at least as likely. Such a quake might get up into the mid 7 range in magnitude and, although smaller than the one I expect south of us, it would be likely of shallower depth and closer to populated areas, doing a great deal of harm. All we can do is hope for the best, but expect and prepare for the most likely scenario; not so much the worst case scenario.

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    CJ Kelly 18 months ago from Auburn, WA

    Incredibly interesting hub. I know that here in the Northwest we are expecting at least a minor quake soon. Shared.