Monday, March 14, 2011

"Japan: The 'Big One' hit, but not where they thought it would"

The Washington Post's Joel Achenbach understands new media:

...When in doubt, go with the most hysterical headline.
(Rule one of blogging is that the End Of The World will be good for page views.)

so I'm a bit perplexed by the relative modesty of his Friday column:
They have long been ready for the Big One in Japan. But when it arrived Friday, it was still surprising, still utterly devastating, and it left scientists around the world humbled at how unpredictable the heaving and lurching earth can be.

Japanese geologists have long forecast a huge earthquake along a major plate boundary southwest of Tokyo, and have poured enormous resources into monitoring the faint traces of strain building in that portion of the earth's crust. They have predicted in great detail the amount of property damage and the number of landslides such a tremor would generate. They have even given the conjectured event a name: The Tokai Earthquake.
But the grinding plates of the earth move in mysterious ways, and Friday the largest recorded earthquake in Japan's history - a stunning magnitude 8.9 on the short list of most violent events since the dawn of seismology - hit about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo, generating a tsunami that within minutes socked the coast of Honshu, Japan's largest island....MORE
This topic appears to be something Mr. A. knows something about (along with "Dead Zones") judging by this Feb. 2010 link:
Risk: "Under the world's greatest cities, deadly plates"