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Asian Earthquakes in 2011

Updated on November 21, 2016

Time of Earthquakes

It appears that earthquakes have become more frequent. One element of this natural phenomenon is its unpredictability. No modern instrument can predict its occurrence. It often leaves in its aftermath numbers of lives lost, not to mention the damage to property. The year 2011 was marked with several earthquakes rocking some countries in Asia.

Only a year before, the South American continent was visited by major earthquakes. Who could ever forget the devastating Chilean and Haiti earthquakes. This year however (2011) more earthquakes are happening in the Asian continent.

Natural Phenomenon

An earthquake, a natural process in the earth's evolution, is often caused by the periodic movement of the earth's crust. Earthquakes occur to release pressure from its core. Being a natural phenomenon that has visited different parts of the globe since time immemorial, it is still a sad fact that in this day and age, man is still unprepared in the face of an earthquake. Modern technology has provided many changes to make living easier. Modern medicine has helped prolonged the lives of people, but in the face of disaster, the same could not be said.

Here is a rundown of the earthquakes which strike the Asian region just his year. As you can see, the first quarter is not even over yet, and people is certain areas have already two devastatiing earthquakes, the one in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the more recent, in Japan on March 11, 2011. Still, minor earthquakes have been recorded in other areas in the region like Indonesia, Philippines but have not been in the headlines, thank God, since there were no casualties or major structural damage were caused.

Here is the rundown on the earthquakes which visited Asia in 2011.

8.9 Quake Sendai, Japan March 11, 2011

A series of powerful 8.9 quakes hit Sendai, Japan, just off the northeast coast causing 10-meter wall of tsunami to rumble into the plains and farmland near the city. The quake was felt as far as Tokyo, Japan where tall buildings shook so violently causing its occupants to run out to the streets.

The death toll in the this earthquake reached more than 390 people with 800 reported missing (CNN News update). Tsunami alerts were issued in several neighboring countries. Expectedly aftershocks were felt even a few hours after. Communication lines in and out of the affected areas are down while millions of homes are left without electricity. Chilling videos of debris-filled waves swept over large tracts of farmland, cars, and homes spread over the internet.

Earthquakes particularly massive ones regularly occur in this country which lies in the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a seismologically active area but the recent activity has caused a considerable amount of destruction. Experts are however quick to point out that the Christchurch and Japan earthquake are no way related to each other. This despite the fact that both are in the "Pacific Ring of Fire."

All video credits belong to Associated Press

The 6.3 Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand Feb. 22, 2011

The massive 7.2-magnitude quake occurred during lunchtime in busy Christchurch. It originated from 3 miles deep hence the resulting severe damage to major buildings in the city. Many people were trapped beneath collapsed buildings. In the collapsed CTV Building alone, a hundred were believed to be trapped under the ruble.Even the city's landmark structure, the Christchurch Cathedral was not spared when its spire broke and hurtled to the square directly below it.

This is one of the deadliest quake to hit New Zealand as it took 145 dead in its aftermath. Survivors said that the quake tore their city and made it look like a war zone. New Zealand lies on the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and on the boundary of major tectonic plates -- the Pacific and Indo-Australian.

Indonesia Quake at 6.6

A 6.6 magnitude quake shook the central part of Indonesia in the early hours of Friday, March 11, the same day the 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Sendai, Japan. The quake originated from way down below the earth's surface. Fortunately for those living in the Indonesian coast, no tsunami was generated. The tremors of this earthquake reached the island of Bali.

Philippine Minor Quakes 2011

6.6 in Jolo, Feb. 11, 2011

The small province of Jolo in Southern Philippines was rocked by a 6.6 magnitude quake right before midnight of February 11. Good thing that there were no reported casualties nor property damaged.

Baguio City, Feb. 18. 2011

A magnitude 5 earthquake was felt in the upper city of Baguio in the Philippines. No damages and injuries were reported in this quake. Recall that on July 16, 1990, a massive 7.8 earthquake struck Baguio city killed more than 1200 people, injured twice of this number and damaged billions-worth of property.

Manila and Luzon areas, Feb. 22, 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake, tectonic in origin rocked Manila, the capital city of the Philippines and other parts of Luzon. The quake was categorized as moderate. No reported casualties and property damages resulted. (Source: ABS CBN News online)

The next major and unanswerable question is, where's the next big one and when a major quake will strike again. No one knows for sure. While people remain hopeful that it will never occur again, earthquakes are a fact of life. Though one can never prepare for it, it helps to be aware somehow be ready and prepare for this eventuality.


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    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei 6 years ago from Philippines

      @Alternative Prime, there is nothing we can really do about earthquakes but be prepared for it. Also lots of prayers. Thanks much for reading my hubs!

    • Mr. Smith profile image

      Mr. Smith 6 years ago from California

      Great look at the events we've seen lately. For many of us, we just have to stay prepared.

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 6 years ago from > California

      Great article gmmurgirl,

      Excellent recap of increased seismic activity all over the world. The Japan disaster is heart wrenching to say the least & hope to see the recovery commence in the very near future.

      One of the things I fear is the potential and realistic possibility of a substantial earthquake occurring in the northeastern United States where there are very few if any "Earthquake Building Codes" aimed at reducing the effects of ground shaking events. Let's hope that never happens in New England....

      - Alternative Prime -