The Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) report for the moment magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck the Mexican State of Michoacan on September 19, 2022 is now available. The earthquake was an interface subduction earthquake along the Middle America trench megathrust near the central Pacific coast of Mexico. Approximately 6,000 houses were damaged, as were 116 schools. There were two fatalities attributed to a building collapse in the earthquake and another two fatalities in a M6.9 aftershock several days later. The report can be downloaded from the GEER association.
A deadly magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22, killing at least 147 and with around 200 still missing. Many buildings have been badly damaged or destroyed and residents also had to deal with large quanities of mud and water which was a result of the liquefaction. The same region was affected by a 7.1 magnitude quake in September of 2010. That earthquake was centered deeper and farther from the metropolitan area so there were fewer casualties and less damage. But many buildings that had recently been repaired, or were even still under repair were devastated once again. Some early reports were calling this earthquake an aftershock of the September earthquake, but maps I’ve seen (at right) show pretty clearly it was a different fault segment that ruptured during this earthquake. I have a collection of links below that might be of interest. My heart goes out to the people of New Zealand affected by this disaster.
On 22 October, 2012, an Italian court convicted six internationally respected scientists of manslaughter. The scientists Enzo Boschi, Giulio Selvaggi, Franco Barberi, Claudio Eva, Mauro Dolce, and Gian Michele Calvi have been sentenced to prison terms, barred from public office, and ordered to pay court costs and damages.
Their offense could have been avoided by precisely predicting the timing and nature of the tragic 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila. However, such precise, short-term earthquake prediction of the type evidently sought by L’Aquila is currently impossible. Because of the ungainly complexity of earthquake systems, knowledge of physical details is incomplete; the diverse expressions of earthquake processes deliver contradictory messages; and measurements of earthquake phenomena can be inaccurate. Glaringly, the indictment accused the scientists of having provided “incomplete”, “contradictory”, and “inaccurate” information.
[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from the GSA. [/Editor]