Million Death Quake Review
When Haiti was struck by an earthquake in 2010 the impacts were disastrous. With an official estimate of 316,000 deaths, it is the second most destructive earthquake in recorded human history. Over 97,000 houses were destroyed and more than 188,000 damaged. However, could this Earthquake have been predicted and some, if not all, of the 316,000 deaths prevented? Are we able to predict, or even prevent, the next large earthquake that is bound to rock our planet to the core? These pressing questions are amongst the ones that seismologist and geologist Roger Musson answers with an informative and interesting study throughout the course of this book. In the first part of the book, Musson educates about the reader about past earthquakes, what they are, how they are caused and their various effects, in addition to intensity and magnitude scales used to measure earthquakes. While doing this he takes the reader on a journey throughout time, going as far back as the sixth century BC and as close to the present as the earthquake that ravaged Haiti in 2010. By weaving in history and tales about past earthquakes the book intrigues the reader and adds an extra layer to the knowledge it imparts. The author also debunks several scientific misconceptions, such as the usefulness of the Richter Scale, highlighting that it is never used is scientific discourse and has been surpassed by the moment magnitude scale. In the second part, the author discusses whether earthquakes can be predicted as well as methods being explored to reduce damage, save lives, etc. He tackles various subjects such as how cities are being adapted by engineers to become more "earthquake proof” and how seismologists are searching for various ways in which earthquakes can predicted, so that warnings can be sent out. He concludes however, that although earthquakes are inevitable they are not predictable. Furthermore, he questions whether such predictions would be useful even if...
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