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Scientists have issued a chilling warning concerning an enormous tear in the Earth’s crust, located in the Banda Sea, which they believe could set off a wave of cataclysmic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions across the infamous Pacific Ring of Fire.
Scientists discover a huge tear in the Earth’s crust
The tear is described as measuring approximately 60,000 square kilometers and is around 7 kilometers deep, making it around the same size as the Australian island of Tanzania. Scientists claim that the tear was caused by a process called subduction which involves the movement of one tectonic plate beneath another. This causes one tectonic plate to move downwards and become submerged in the magma underneath the Earth’s crust. This tear would be a cause for concern in and of itself, but scientists are particularly worried because the Banda Sea lies with the Pacific Ring of Fire, the most active seismic area in the entire world. The frequent earthquakes that occur within proximity to the tear could lead to incredibly violent tremors that could affect the entire enormous region that lies on the infamous fault line.
In recent years, this region has experienced a phenomenal upsurge in seismic activity. More than a hundred people were killed, and 84,000 people were left homeless following a quake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale in western Indonesia earlier this month. This catastrophic event came hot on the heels of a powerful earthquake in the disaster prone area of Fukushima in November and Australia recently experienced its largest earthquake in decades. It is feared that factors relating to the Earth’s magnetic poles and the enormous tear in the Banda Sea could only intensify the frequency of incidents such as these.
The probability of the intensity of natural disasters in such a vast area of the world is already deeply concerning, but this is only part of the problem. Another major cause for concern is the presence of nuclear power stations along fault lines. The tsunami that struck the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant may well give scientists, engineers and policy makers an example of what might be to come if the region experiences more frequent and unprecedentedly intense earthquakes. The plant at Fukushima was not built to withstand an earthquake measuring more than 7.9 on the Richter scale and was floored by the quake that struck the area which measured 9.0. The plant has still not been properly repaired and international researchers are convinced that the damaged equipment is haemorrhaging radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean.
Californians have particular cause to worry about the eventually of irreparable nuclear disasters caused by natural disasters. The state has two nuclear reactors lying in the danger zone San Onofre and Diablo Canyon, both of which were built to withstand much weaker earthquakes than Fukushima.
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