Thursday, July 20, 2006
Facts on ''Ring of Fire"!
Here are some key facts about the Ring of Fire:
WHAT IS IT?
-- The Ring of Fire is a band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean.
-- It is horseshoe-shaped, and 40,000 km (25,000 miles) long.
-- It runs from Chile, northwards along the South American coast through Central America, Mexico, the west coast of the U.S. and the southern part of Alaska, through the Aleutian Islands to Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia before curving back to New Guinea, the southwest Pacific islands and New Zealand.
-- Its seismic activity results from collisions between tectonic plates.
-- Of the world's 1,500 active volcanos, almost 90 percent are in the Ring of Fire.
-- Ninety percent of the world's earthquakes and 81 percent of the world's largest earthquakes occur within it.
-- May 27, 2006, INDONESIA: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Yogyakarta in Java, killing at least 5,700 people.
-- June 10, PHILIPPINES: Bulusan volcano explodes, sending ash and steam 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) into the air and showering surrounding villages.
-- June 12, JAPAN: Vulcanologists warn of more eruptions at Mount Sakurajima, on Kyushu island southwest of Tokyo, after it spews volcanic gases.
-- July 17, INDONESIA: Over 550 people are killed in Java, after an undersea earthquake creates a tsunami.
-- July 17, ECUADOR: Tungurahua volcano, about 80 miles (130 km) south of Quito, rains molten rock and covers villages in ash, months after it became active in May.
-- July 18, PHILIPPINES: Authorities order 4,000 people to evacuate after Mount Mayon begins erupting on July 14.
-- July 19, INDONESIA: Office workers in the capital Jakarta flee after a 6.0 magnitude tremor causes tall buildings to sway.
FAMOUS RING OF FIRE ERUPTIONS:
-- August 26/27, 1883: Krakatoa, an island volcano in the Indian Ocean erupts. It kills nearly 40,000 people as tsunami waves crash into Java and Sumatra and are felt as far away as England.
-- May 18, 1980: Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state erupts, killing 57. The eruption was triggered by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake.
-- June 9, 1991: Mount Pinatubo, 80 km (50 miles) north of Manila, erupts. It kills over 700 and destroys 200,000 buildings in one of the 20th century's 3 largest eruptions.