As I predicted, news from Haiti in the wake of the Jan 12 earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince has become a trickle. Even a catastrophe of such proportions, thousands dead, a city in ruins, et cetera, does not hold the worlds attention for long, but a month later, on February 11, a 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit Chicago and there was barely any notice taken in the mainstream media.
As February began, The New York Times took notice that, Hundreds of Quakes Are Rattling Yellowstone. My first instinct was (and is) to dismiss the Times as a source of science-based information. This is the same newspaper that, a few years back, declared that the North Pole was melting and, of course, it continues to publish utter nonsense about a non-existent global warming.
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To his credit, reporter Kirk Johnson put the Yellowstone activity in context, noting that the second-largest ever recorded swarm of quakes is more a cause for curiosity than alarm. In fact, another swarm of more than 1,000 quakes had struck the park just over a year ago with the largest recorded occurring in 1985; over a three month period, there were 3,000 earthquakes.
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All the quakes noted, however, are way down on the Richter scale, barely felt and noticed thanks only to sophisticated seismic detection equipment. In total, the February swarm was the 80th in the last fifteen years. Yellowstone, however, is special because it is the largest volcanic caldera in the United States and, should it erupt, the destruction would be unimaginable. Like Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, it could fill the atmosphere with so much material that it would likely alter the weather around the world for a while.
One, however, has to ask if there is a connection between Haiti, Chicago, and Yellowstones rumblings. Clearly there is movement of the Earths tectonic plates and it is occurring in our neighborhood.
We have been told for years that the San Andreas Fault is likely to deliver u201Ca big oneu201D again to San Francisco or Los Angeles, but it is the nature of people to push such things to the back of their minds and perhaps that is the best thing to do. No one can truly u201Cprepareu201D for an earthquake.
February 13, 2010