The Salt Lake Tribune published an article recently on some trenching activity by the Utah Geologic Survey and the USGS to better date past movements on this active fault.
A new study published in the current issue of Geoarchaeology claims that earthquake-prone areas along the edges of tectonic plates were far more likely to give birth to great ancient civilizations than less dynamic landscapes. The author of the paper, Eric Force, a (U of A Wildcat!) says that 13 of 15 ancient civilizations sites aren’t the product of chance. Instead, ancient people appear to have chosen to settle close to a tectonic plate boundary. The exceptions were in ancient China and Egypt. [Image Adapted from Eric R. Force, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 23 (2008)]
[Updated May 30, 2008] I forgot to publish this post to the front page, whoops! The two links still have excellent information. In particular, Dave’s Landslide Blog has coverage of the many landslide lakes and the efforts to breach some of them. [/Update]
The latest numbers according to AFP, Worldwide News Agency, is 71,000 dead, missing or buried and over 5 million homeless. There were many victims that were buried by landslides and rockfall. In the past few days 200 rescue workers have been buried by mudslides.