ON SUNDAY NIGHT the kitchen sink water sloshed towards me in the kitchen of my 7th floor apartment in Santiago, Chile. The dishes rattled and a couple of cabinet doors swung open. I knew intuitively that it was a “biggish” earthquake, but I stood still beside the sink, waiting for it to end, and willing the water not to splash out on me (it didn’t). The quake was a 7.1, according to the USGS, but my building had recently lived through an 8.8 about two years ago, with an epicenter around the same place. I wasn’t worried as much as I was curious.
My curiosity led me to this seismic-geek attention-grabbing video, which shows all the earthquakes of greater than 4.5 on the Richter scale for the year 2011, graphically and sonically represented on the map. I’m beginning to think Santiago barely moves an inch. Check out the activity in the Pacific Ring of Fire on July 13th in this screen capture:
And if you’re still itching for more seismic info, check out this page, where you can hear what the Japan 9.0 quake sounded like (or would have sounded like — some license has been taken) from several different points on earth, both near the fault and as far away as California.