SSJulie: Japan

Like everyone else, my international businessman husband and I are so worried about the Japanese people, the disabled nuclear plant, radiation leaks, continuing aftershocks, food shortages, weather, and the longer-term impact of this horrific disaster on the world economy.  My husband also worries about California and Oregon.

Let me explain.  My international business husband is our family geologist.  Like sister Monica ( medical researcher) and my brother Jim ( pharmaceutical executive) who handle all family medical questions, my husband, due to his PhD in geology, fields Dolan family queries having to do with science or math related topics.  My husband worries about the tremendous force of this earthquake combined with the previous strong earthquakes in New Zealand and Chile and the stress it creates on the tectonic plates.  According to him, all that energy has to go somewhere.   As a result of all this activity In Japan, New Zealand and Chile and the long period of relative inactivity on the West Coast,  he is very concerned about the size of the quake that might hit somewhere along the California/ Oregon coast.

But you don’t have to believe the Dolan family geologist.  Simon Winchester, international bestselling author of  The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa and A Crack in the Edge of the World in Newsweek writes that massive earthquakes sometimes trigger temblors across the oceans.  According to Winchester, the disaster in Japan can’t be viewed in isolation.   Winchester writes , ” the earth becomes like a great brass bell, which when struck by an enormous hammer blow on one side sets to vibrating and ringing form all over’. The quake in Japan, New Zealand and Chile are all on the same family of fault lines and boundaries.  It is known as the ring of fire.  The only corner of the ring unaffected is the Pacific coast and the San Andreas fault.

The family geologist is not predicting when or where.  He is just a little more worried than the rest of us.

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