Demolishing Earthquakes Strike Ecuador and Japan

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[ot-caption title=”A powerful earthquake splits the asphalt. (via, Max Resdefault)”]

On Saturday, April 16th, 2016, a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador and massively affected the people and the country.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it had a 7.2 magnitude temblor. As of now, the death count is around five hundred people, but more bodies are being found as debris is removed, and at least four thousand people were injured. A few days after the first Ecuador earthquake, more powerful earthquakes struck the country, so the death toll is expected to be much higher.  According to Sputnik news, the second quake hit at a depth of about 9.5 miles. The aftershocks of these earthquakes have also been very serious.

“It’s the worst tragedy in 60 years,” Defense Minister Patiño stated. As a result of this devastation, other Latin American countries are trying to provide aid to ameliorate the situation.  Among the hardest hit were Ecuadorian tourist areas, such as many luxurious hotels, restaurants, and popular cities. Thousands of people have been left homeless due to this natural disaster and are currently seeking refuge, while approximately two thousand buildings have been damaged. President Correa said that Ecuador would temporarily increase taxes, sell assets, and make other financial decisions, as this disaster is expected to cost roughly two to three billion dollars.

During this same week, three high-magnitude earthquakes struck southern Japan between April 14th and April 16th, with 41 casualties reported. The earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador are not related, and the only commonality is that they are both located in the Ring of Fire, which is a chain of volcanos and active tectonic plates that surrounds the Pacific Ocean.

The first quake in Japan had a magnitude of 6.2 and caused much damage to the city of Kumamoto. Three hours later, another earthquake struck at a magnitude of 6.0 in almost the exact same location. Just two days later, as Japan was attempting to recover from these catastrophic events, it was struck, yet again, by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The residents of Kumamoto thought the first earthquake was the main quake and the second one was a powerful aftershock, but once the 7.0 magnitude quake struck, it was discovered that the first two earthquakes were simply foreshocks. This series of earthquakes was the most powerful shock Japan has felt since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Many rescue missions, though compromised by the later quakes, are still being carried out. Since these earthquakes occurred over two days with minimal shocks in between the powerful ones, many parts of Kumamoto’s infrastructure were damaged or destroyed.  Nearly 800 homes were damaged, as well as highways, cars, power lines, and other important infrastructure. Luckily, there were no notable aftershocks to the region, so residents will continue to fix the damage caused by the quakes and attempt to move on from the natural disasters.

Countries and people all around the world are working together to help these two countries recover from this massive disaster.

Sources: CNN News, Express UK, USA Today, Reuters, Romper, Federal Trade Commission, EarthSky.org

Photo Source: Max Resdefault