Approximately sixty thousand earthquakes shook Earth in the previous year, and over four thousand occurred last month alone.
Some experts now claim that these quakes could be an indication that the Big One in the Pacific Ring of Fire could be on its way. Earthquake tracking website Earthquaketrack has registered a shocking 59,841 tremors all over the world in this year alone. Last month, a total number of 4,172 quakes higher than magnitude 1.5 occurred, and 895 took place in the last week.
The regular eruption of earthquakes has made some to be afraid that the Big One could hit any time soon.
What is a Big One Earthquake?
The Big One is a hypothetical severe earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher. This particular earthquake is believed to occur around the Pacific Ring of Fire, aiming for the San Andreas Fault Line in California.
Back in 1906, San Francisco was close to being hit by a Big One when a magnitude 7.9 quake destroyed the city. The tremor killed over 3,000 people, harmed 225,000, and left thousands homeless when it washed over the city.
As per the U.S. Geological Service (USGS), there is a 31 percent probability a magnitude 7.5 tremor could devastate the Los Angeles region in the next 30 years. There is also a 20 percent chance such a major earthquake will hit the San Francisco Bay area in the next 30 years.
Some researchers believe California is over 200 years overdue for another Big One, but there is no evidence whatsoever to imply the Big One will hit the U.S. state or the Ring of Fire soon.
Geophysicist Edwin Nissen of the University of Victoria has cautioned such tremors can appear without warning.
He said: “We can’t predict earthquakes, and we are a million miles away from being able to. It’s wrong to say the next earthquake is overdue. But it is correct to say it might happen tomorrow. It might happen today or tomorrow or in 100 years.”
The most massive earthquake reaches a magnitude of 9.5 and stroke Chile on May 22nd, 1960, which is another country on the Ring of Fire.
What is the Pacific Ring of Fire?
The Ring of Fire is a hot place of earthquake and volcanic activity located along the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The hotbed spreads from the east coast of the U.S. to the east coast of South America, and it is the culprit behind seismic activity in Japan.
“Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions do not strike randomly but occur in specific areas, such as along plate boundaries. One such area is the circum-Pacific Ring of Fire, where the Pacific Plate meets many surrounding plates. The Ring of Fire is the most seismically and volcanically active zone in the world,” USGS explained.
The Ring of Fire goes all the way from the southern peak of South America up through Mexico, the U.S. east coast, and Alaska. The structure then goes through Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, to Japan, and into southeast Asia. The network of volcanoes and tremor hotbeds then goes through Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and all the way to New Zealand.