By: Raine Hinkle
Earthquakes are sudden and violent shakings of the ground, which sometimes cause great destruction. They cause movements that take place within the earth’s crust or volcanic action.
2016 has just begun, yet 11 earthquakes have struck around the world. The largest earthquake had a 7.1 magnitude taking place in Old Liamna, Alaska. January 24th at 1:30 in the morning, the residents of southern-central Alaska were shocked by the sudden impact of the first earthquake. What they didn’t know was this wasn’t the last. Following the massive 7.1 earthquake were 30 after shocks. Those 30 after shocks all took place within a 3-hour time frame after the first quake hit. The biggest aftershock took place at 3:37, weighing in with a 4.3 magnitude.
Possible effects of this quake included evacuations, loss of power, gas odors, and broken water lines. One neighborhood was evacuated due to the reports of gas leaks, and we are glad they did because later that day, the house went up in flames and there was an explosion inside the house.
Should we worry about the risks of earthquakes in Alabama? The largest quake to strike Alabama directly was a 5.1 magnitude that hit the city of Irondale. Residents in seven different states noticed this quake, and it covered 100,000 square miles. Most of the earthquakes we experience in Alabama are associated with the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone, which is an extension of the East Tennessee Seismic Zone. This zone runs along the Appalachian Mountains from the northeastern corner into the central part of the state and the Bahamas Fracture Seismic Zone in southern Alabama, according to the geological survey of Alabama.
Due to the many earthquakes happening around the world, I don’t think anybody in the Baldwin County area should worry about an earthquake any time soon.