Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Spanish Earthquakes 11th May 2011

Posted by Lindy on May 13, 2011

2 quakes of 4.4 and 5.2 hit the town of Lorca which has a population of about 90,000. 10 were killed in the quakes, and a lot of masonry fell, and there was some structural damage, in particular to older buildings.

Many people camped out on Wednesday night rather than risk being inside during after shocks. There were long queues for food and water.

But why was such a small earthquake so deadly? Many earthquakes with a scale of 5.2 have little impact. How was this one different? It is all to do with the depth of the focus – the nearer to the surface it is, the bigger the shock waves on the surface – and this one was very close, barely 1km down. Compare this with the recent earthquake in Japan, that was a scale 9, where the depth was 32km.

From our local correspondent, Shannon Robertson:

My mum was lying on the beach and she felt the sand move in a circular motion underneath her. She was going to say ” Did you guys feel that?” but we were two busy playing. Anyway, when we got home from the beach, my mum had a FB message saying “Spanish earthquake killed 10 people in Lorka, did u feel it?” and my mum said to my dad “i felt the earthquake on the beach.’


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