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Get more -- you help us explain the environmental impact of the earthquake we're joined now by Harley -- probably the -- knowledge is that the US Geological Survey.
It's great to have you on the show.
You know -- -- in Southern California part of the ring of fire we were always talking about the big one the big earthquake.
This earthquake today in Japan so catastrophic that -- that's right -- 140 years could this have been the big one.
Well this is certainly in a class of a mega earthquake community is there.
Fifth largest earthquake we recorded it since the beginning of the twentieth century.
There are only just a handful of earthquakes that have done better so this is a very large earthquake.
Harley when you talk about the people of Japan and I've heard this several times today there readiness in their code if you will building codes.
Safer than never really anywhere else in the western world would you agree with that given the fact that they have to suffer through -- many of these.
These earthquakes throughout the years.
-- capsule -- they have some of the best construction practices in the world.
It's because earthquakes -- -- day to day reality for them they suffered through many many large damaging earthquakes.
On so they're very capable to respond quickly to these large earthquakes than they have very good building codes.
And what did you learn about the nature of the earthquake itself the richter scale reading that tectonic plates if you obviously I'm not a scientist but -- did it.
Didn't she cook you anything new about the threat of another big earthquake capping another part of the globe.
Well that this is an an area where the Pacific plate is being seductive beneath.
Japan and all around the Pacific week you know Alaska South America -- subduction zones are particularly dangerous just last year we had a magnitude eight.
Point eight earthquake off off the coast of -- and the environment.
Of generating these large earthquakes as it was basically the same.
And one of the largest earthquakes.
In the world and nine point two in Alaska in 1964.
Was the Pacific plate being seductive beneath -- North American plate so these subduction zones which basically.
You know Japan on the eastern edge of all Japan is is a subduction zone has the potential of generating very large damaging earthquakes.
Hollywood about a half hour after the initial quake of seven point four on the richter scale aftershock.
I hit how is there any way to be able to tell how strong the aftershocks will be how often -- come about or how long it will last.
Well in cases of these very large aftershocks sequences.
We are going to see aftershocks.
Four weeks and months we're still recording aftershocks one year later.
From Chile earthquake of February 2000 and content.
You generally they decrease the frequency and magnitude decrease is with the line.
But in the case here.
Because the infrastructure particularly close to where -- earthquake occurred is so vulnerable and damaged it doesn't take a very large aftershock.
To cause further damage.
But the reality is there's going to be large significant aftershocks.
Going on for weeks and months following this earthquake.
Doctor Harley Benz thank you so much for your time your discussion.
Well are the people in the businesses of California properly insured.
For the tsunami that hit today will will investigate next here on Fox Business.
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