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Survey about earthquakes

in California
1. What do you think are the biggest problems after (occured) earthquakes?
e) Destroyed infrastructure (bridges etc.)

2. What was the magnitude of the most intensive earthquake you’ve ever
Magnitude (Richter scale):
e) 6-7

3. How often do earthquakes occur in your area?

I can't answer this question with the options provided. There may be daily
earthquakes up and down California, but if you talking about feeling earthquakes,
it's more like yearly. No where near monthly.

4. What arrangements does the government make concerning the limitation of

c) Earthquake-proved“ buildings, bridges (elastic)

5. Does the government participate in the compensation for damage (destroyed

house)? If yes how much?
That sounds like more of a personal insurance issue. There are relief efforts if
needed, but I don't know the percentage that comes from the government.

6. In what way are you prepared/shielded against earthquakes?

d) I’m not prepared at all, nor shielded.
e) Earthquakes usually don’t affect me

7. What are you concerned with most at the moment?

a) Economic crisis

8. How often do you think about earthquakes and their danger?

e) Monthly
(This question would be better if the options were qualified/rated as: All the time,
Often, Sometimes, Never)

9. What scenario makes you most afraid?

d) An assault
10. Suppose, an eathquake destroyed your house, what would you do?
b) Rent a flat in the same town (already rent)

11. In what way are you interested/engaged in earthquake researches?

d) I’m not engaged, but I usually look for new discoveries (I think articles on
earthquakes are interesting to read, but I'm not personally looking for new
discoveries. Is that what you meant?)

12. Where do you get the information? (linked to question before)

a) Newspaper
e) TV

Interview: USGS Quake Expert on Likelihood of 9.0 Earthquake in California

and Pacific Northwest

On Friday, after the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami had hit Japan,
Gretchen Weber of KQED's Climate Watch spoke with Tom Brocher, Director of
the Earthquake Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. Pretty
interesting conversation for those of us who live in quake territory. After cautioning
to be mindful of the tsunami's effects for 12 hours after the first waves struck (the
tsunami advisory has now been canceled), he got into the subject of giant

Some things that Mr. Brocher pointed out:

 The type of giant quake that hit Japan Thursday is not expected to
menace the Bay Area, where the 7.9 quake of 1906 is thought to be at
the upper limit of quakes in the area. The Japan quake was 30 times
larger than the 1906 quake, and 900 times the size of the Loma Prieta
temblor in 1989.
 North of California, however is another story. A magnitude 9.0 or
above quake in the Pacific Northwest is expected. Those quakes,
which are the product of vast and deep faults, are characterized by
their severity and the duration of shaking when they strike. Brocher
said strong shaking lasted for 3-5 minutes during Thursday's tembler.
 A quake in the 9.0 range occurs in the Pacific Northwest region every
300 - 500 years. The last one was in 1700, which scientists know
because of a tsunami that was recorded in Japan at the time.
California Geological Survey - Frequently Asked Questions

Data collection

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an accelerometer? What is an accelerograph? And what is an


An accelerometer is a sensor that measures acceleration, like a speedometer

measures speed. An accelerometer is often part of an accelerograph, which is an
instrument that contains accelerometers and records the acceleration record. The
acceleration record is called an accelerogram. Note the similarity to something
much more familiar: The telegraph, is an instrument, and it produces a record that
is called the telegram

What is acceleration? What does “g” stand for?

Acceleration, in physics, corresponds to the force applied to something that causes

it to change its position or speed. It is the force you feel when a car accelerates
from a stop sign, pushing you back into the car seat (it’s a horizontal force).
Similarly, when an elevator starts moving, you feel more weight on your legs (it’s a
vertical force). When a roller coaster car makes a hairpin turn, the acceleration may
push you to the side, or up or down.

Acceleration is measured in “g”, where 1 g corresponds to the vertical acceleration

force due to gravity. Roller coasters experience accelerations of 2 or more g, and
fighter pilots may have to handle accelerations of 8g or more without passing out.

During an earthquake, the forces vary a lot and keep changing, back and forth and
side to side. These forces, if they’re strong enough, can damage structures unless
the structures have been specially designed. The largest earthquake forces that have
been measured are about 1 to 2 g; most earthquakes have much lower forces, but
those forces can still damage many structures.

What does strong motion mean?

The motion of a point on the ground during a small or distant earthquake can be so
small that only specialized, precision instruments can record it. When the
earthquake is larger (or closer), that motion will be larger. When the motion
reaches the level where humans can feel it, typically a 1-2 %g, it is often called
strong motion. This is an actually an arbitrary level, meant to communicate the
level qualitatively, as when one says “heavy rain” vs. “light rain”.

What other sensors besides accelerometers are used to measure earthquake


The most common sensor is not the accelerometer, which measures acceleration,
but the seismometer, which measures the velocity or speed of a point on the ground
as it moves during earthquake shaking. Most velocity sensors are high precision,
sensitive instruments designed to record motions from distant earthquakes rather
than the strong shaking that occurs near to earthquakes. Another instrument is the
displacement sensor, which can be used in certain applications; in strong motion,
they are most useful in measuring relative displacement (the distance between two
points). Finally, GPS position sensing has become available and can be used to
track the position of a point. Earthquake forces changes so rapidly during an
earthquake that they must be measured many times each second (as many as 200).
GPS doesn’t measure changes that rapid, but is ideal to get final ********s after an

Why do you measure acceleration, instead of velocity, or displacement?

Acceleration gives the forces directly, so it can be used to establish the forces that a
structure experiences during an earthquake. Also, acceleration sensors are generally
the most hardy of all seismic sensors. In addition, they are usually small, only a few
inches on a side, so they are easy to place at key ********s in a structure. The
acceleration record can be computer processed and integrated to obtain the velocity
and displacement records.

What does near-real-time vs. real-time mean?

A real-time signal is continuously being sent and received, with little or no delay,
much like a newscast or program on TV. Near-real-time is delayed slightly because
a communication link is established to send the data once an event occurs, much as
one makes phone call to someone in order to give them a message. Near-real-time
communication is generally more economical than a continuous data link, which
makes it attractive for communication of infrequent events like the occurrence of
earthquake shaking. Real-time communication is thought to be more reliable, but a
big earthquake can interrupt many conventional communication pathways. To
achieve the most robustness, all types of communication paths should be used
achieve maximum redundancy (as is being done in CISN).

What is the difference between Richter magnitude and acceleration?

The Richter magnitude indicates the size or strength of an earthquake. For

illustration, a parallel can be drawn with how the strength of an explosion will often
be reported in terms of tons of TNT (or sticks of dynamite, in old movies). In
contrast, the acceleration, or “g force” usually refers to the shaking experienced at a
specific point due to the earthquake. This shaking is generally lower at greater
distances from an earthquake, just as the sound level experienced from the
dynamite blast is lower at points farther away from the explosion.

What does TriNet stand for?

What does CISN stand for?TriNet is a combined seismic network involving the
networks of three agencies, Caltech, the US Geological Survey in Pasadena, and
the California Strong Motion Program (in the Department of Conservation’s
California Geological Survey). The TriNet effort was primarily supported by
FEMA, through OES, as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the
funding ended for that in late 2000.CISN is the California Integrated Seismic
Network, and similar to TriNet but with the addition of two northern California
networks, the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park and UC Berkeley. With State
support through OES, and federal support though the ANSS effort of the USGS, it
makes the effort statewide.

Where can I find lists of strong-motion stations in California?

The lists of strong motion stations in California of the CSMIP and NSMP can be
found on the web site of each program. In addition,
the Northern and Southern California Seismic Networks maintain lists of seismic
stations of their networks for both strong and weak motion stations.

Where can I find strong-motion data?

There are several strong-motion data collections for earthquakes of California and
elsewhere. These include the CISN Engineering Data Center, of which the primary
data sources are the CSMIP and NSMP networks, in CISN. For data immediately
after an earthquake, see the “Internet Quick Report” at the Engineering Data
Center. Additional data collections are the PEER database and COSMOS Virtual
Data Center. For earthquakes outside California, the NSMP and COSMOS Virtual
Data Centeralso host datasets for the US and selected regions in the world. An
important European data collection can be accessed at the European Strong Motion
Database, and Japanese records can be obtained at Kik-Net.

What types of buildings/structures does CSMIP instrument?

The CSMIP installs earthquake-monitoring devices in structures such as buildings,

hospitals, bridges, dams, utilities and industrial facilities. The program has installed
more than 1000 stations, including 700 ground-response stations, 170 buildings, 20
dams and 60 bridges. Sites are selected according to long-term strategies developed
in consultation with the Strong Motion Instrumentation Advisory Committee, a
committee of the Seismic Safety Commission.
What are the products of strong-motion data?

Strong motion data are used both for earthquake emergency response and for
engineering and scientific research. For earthquake emergency response,
applications such as the ShakeMaps use strong-motion data as input and generate
near-real time information on the levels of ground shaking and loss assessment for
emergency responders. Research products in engineering and scientific applications
include evaluation of building/structure performance, near surface wave
propagation and attenuation, local site characterization, and strong motion
prediction, etc.

How do I find out about recent earthquakes in California?

Near-real-time earthquake maps and lists are available at the USGS Pasadena and
in Menlo Park recent-earthquake sites and at the Southern California Earthquake

Maps of shaking, called ShakeMaps, which show the areas of ground shaking for
significant recent earthquakes are available for both Northern California and
Southern California.

a report with a graph


Latest Earthquakes in the World - Past 7 days

Worldwide earthquakes with M4.5+ located by USGS and Contributing Agencies.

(Earthquakes with M2.5+ within the United States and adjacent areas.)


From :

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

The information on this page is from materials created by the Emergency Survival
Program (ESP) in 2006, and based on "The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety" in
the handbook, Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.


Step 1: Secure it now!
Reducing and/or eliminating hazards throughout your home, neighborhood,
workplace and school can greatly reduce your risk of injury or death following the
next earthquake or other disaster. Conduct a "hazard hunt" to help identify and fix
things such as unsecured televisions, computers, bookcases, furniture,
unstrapped water heaters, etc. Securing these items now will help to protect you
Download the Secure It Now! focus sheet (804 KB PDF -- courtesy Emergency
Survival Program)
Step #1 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Step 2: Make a plan
Planning for an earthquake, terrorist attack, or other emergency is not much
different from planning for a party or vacation. Make sure that your emergency
plan includes evacuation and reunion plans; your out-of-state contact person's name
and number; the ******** of your emergency supplies and other pertinent
information. By planning now, you will be ready for the next emergency.
Download the Make a Plan focus sheet (436 KB PDF -- courtesy Emergency
Survival Program)
Step #2 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Step 3: Make disaster kits
Everyone should have disaster supplies kits stored in accessible ********s at
home, at work and in your vehicle. Having emergency supplies readily available
can reduce the impact of an earthquake, a terrorist incident or other emergency on
you and your family. Your disaster supplies kits should include food, water,
flashlights, portable radios, batteries, a first aid kit, cash, extra medications, a
whistle, fire extinguisher, etc.
Download the Make Disaster Kits focus sheet (432 KB PDF -- courtesy Emergency
Survival Program)
Step #3 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Step 4: Is your place safe?
Most houses are not as safe as they could be. Whether you are a homeowner or a
renter, there are things that you can do to improve the structural integrity of your
home. Some of the things that you might consider checking include inadequate
foundations, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories, unreinforced
masonry and vulnerable pipes. Consult a contractor or engineer to help you identify
your building's weaknesses and begin to fix them now.
Download the Is Your Place Safe? focus sheet (620 KB PDF --
courtesy Emergency Survival Program)
Step #4 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country


Step 5: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON!
Learn what to do during an earthquake, whether you're at home, at work, at school
or just out and about. Taking the proper actions, such as "Drop, Cover, and Hold
On", can save lives and reduce your risk of death or injury. During earthquakes,
drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly.
Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
Download the Drop, Cover, and Hold On! focus sheet (480 KB PDF --
courtesy Emergency Survival Program)
Step #5 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country


Step 6: Check it out!
One of the first things you should do following a major disaster is to check for
injuries and damages that need immediate attention. Make sure you are trained in
first aid and in damage assessment techniques. You should be able to administer
first aid and to identify hazards such as damaged gas, water, sewage and electrical
lines. Be prepared to report damage to city or county government.
Download the Check It Out! focus sheet (560 KB PDF -- courtesy Emergency
Survival Program)
Step #6 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Step 7: Communicate and recover!
Following a major disaster, communication will be an important step in your
recovery efforts. Turn on your portable radio for information and safety advisories.
If your home is damaged, contact your insurance agent right away to begin your
claims process. For most Presidentially declared disasters, resources will also be
available from federal, state, and local government agencies.
Download the Communicate and Recover! focus sheet (408 KB PDF --
courtesy Emergency Survival Program)
Step #7 in Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country