Why are fault lines and volcanoes all over North and South America suddenly waking up? Are we moving into a time when major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will become much more common? For the past several decades, we have been extremely fortunate to have experienced a period of extremely low seismic activity along the west coast of the United States. You see, the west coast lies right along the infamous Ring of Fire. Approximately 75 percent of all the volcanoes in the world are on the Ring of Fire, and approximately 90 percent of all global earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that "the Big One" will hit California someday, but people have gotten very apathetic about this because things have been so quiet out there for so many years. Well, now it appears that things are changing in a big way - and not just along the California coast. The following are 12 signs that something big is happening to the earth's crust under North and South America...
#1 The 5.1 earthquake that shook Los Angeles on Friday was the worst earthquake that the city had seen in many years.
#2 Following that earthquake, there were more than 100 aftershocks.
#3 A 4.1 earthquake shook Los Angeles on Saturday. Scientists are hoping that this earthquake swarm in southern California will end soon.
#4 Earlier this month, a 4.4 earthquake rattled Los Angeles so badly that it caused news anchors to dive under their desks.
#5 A 6.9 earthquake just off the coast of northern California in early March was the largest earthquake to hit the west coast of the United States since 2010.
#6 Up in Oregon, Mt. Hood recently experienced more than 100 earthquakes over the course of just a few days.
#7 During the past month, there have also been some other very unusual geologic events that have been happening up in Oregon...
- Two large landslides – one in the Columbia River Gorge dumped about 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on highway I84 just 3 miles west of the Hood River, and another blocked US30 near Portland.
- Loud booms and ground shaking reported by people from Lincoln to Tillamook Counties; some reported hearing a rumble, as well (No earthquakes recorded by the USGS in the area at the time.)
- A 20 ft. deep sinkhole swallowed a woman and her dog in her Portland backyard.
#9 Scientists recently discovered that the Yellowstone supervolcano is now releasing far more helium gas than they had anticipated.
#10 Over the past month, there have been more than 130 earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma. This is highly unusual.
#11 There have been several dozen earthquakes in Peru over the past month, including a 6.3 earthquake that made headlines all over the globe.
#12 Earlier this month, the northern coast of Chile was hit by more than 300 earthquakes in a seven day stretch. 41 of those earthquakes were stronger than magnitude 4.5.
Fortunately, the quake that hit Los Angeles on Friday did not cause too much lasting injury. But it sure did shake people up. The following is how the Los Angeles Times described the damage...