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How many earthquakes is too many?

Posted On Mon, April 19, 2010

This year, the earth has already seen what seems to be a staggering amount of earthquakes.

The more devastating quakes in Haiti, Mexico, Chile, and California have caused considerable loss and have people wondering about their frequency. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists are saying that so far 2010 hasn't shown an unusually high amount of earthquake activity.

There have been an average of 16, 7 magnitude earthquakes each year since 1900 around the world. The highest yearly amount of earthquakes occurred in 1943 when there were 32, but the USGS says that there's considerable variability from one year to the next. Six major earthquakes (7 magnitude or higher) so far in 2010 is normal.

Dr. Michael Blanpied, USGS associate coordinator for earthquake hazards said that "while the number of earthquakes is within the normal range, this does not diminish the fact that there has been extreme devastation and loss of life in heavily populated areas."

USGS officials said that aftershocks are expected to continue in the areas closest to the major earthquake sites. ADNFCR-2297-ID-19729802-ADNFCR

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