A Conversation for Earthquakes - the Human Perspective

Rollers vs. Jerkers

Post 1

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

As a native Californian, I've been through hundreds of quakes, and every time there's a major one, the people from the earthquake center at CalTech University get on the news and turn us all into earthquake experts. As such, I can tell you that the jerking kind of earthquake is to be preferred. Although it seems more violent, it is over with quickly. Slow rollers that exceed 30 seconds in duration are generally the most destructive type. The Northridge quake was of this type, as was the San Fran quakes of 1901 and 1991, the Landers quake of 1992 (7.5), the Big Bear quake of 1992 (6.9, it hit the same day as the Landers quake...a very adventurous day). In fact, I'd be willing to bet that all of history's most destructive quakes were the roller types, but I'd expect some exceptions from places like Turkey and Mexico, where the building codes are close to nonexistent.

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