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Image Gallery: This Millennium's Destructive Earthquakes

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Seismic Shaking

Credit: Bruce Jaffe, USGS
The forces that have and continue to shape our planet are constantly in play beneath our feet as tectonic plates slide and dive beneath each other. Never…Read More »









is this underground, moving jigsaw puzzle more noticeable than when an earthquake strikes, sending seismic waves through the earth, often demolishing buildings and other structures in a wide radius. This millennium has seen its fair share of temblors, from the colossal magnitude-9.1 quake that shook Indonesia, killing 233,000 people in 2004, to the immense 2008 earthquake that struck China's Sichuan province, taking thousands of lives, to the powerful earthquake and tsunami duo that devastated northern Japan in 2011.

(The image shows destruction from a less powerful earthquake, a magnitude-5.9 temblor that struck Virginia on Aug. 23, 2011; shaking from the quake could be felt as far away as New York City, Toronto and other eastern cities.)   Less «

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