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Re: California Earthquake Problems

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Hi Paul:

You said:
>The average person, as you say, has no idea what to expect from a "x.x"
>earthquake. All they have is a perception of the earthquake and its results
derived 
>fromTV coverage highlighting as many high profile sensational images as
>possible. Disaster sells.

One could extract the following key-words (or key-phrases) from the above
statement:

(a) Sensational TV Coverage
(b) Disaster Sells

Below is a partial listing of past EQ's which you suggest be classified as (a)
and (b):

1. 1755, Lisbon, Portugal, 70,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
2. 1783, Calabria, Italy, 40,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
3. 1797, Quito, Ecuador, 40,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells
4. 1857, Tokyo, Japan, 100,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells
5. 1868, Colombia/Ecuador, 70,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
6. 1896, Riku-Ugo, Japan, 20,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
7. 1908, Messina, Italy, 120,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
8. 1920, Kansu, Japan, 180,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells
9. 1923, Tokyo, Japan, 140,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells
10. 1935, Quetta, India, 60,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells
11. 1939, Chillan, Chile, 50,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
12. 1970, Peru, 60,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells
13. 1976, Tangshan, China, 700,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster
Sells
14. 1978, Iran, 25,000 dead - Sensational TV Coverage; Disaster Sells

The only problem was that for all these events the reporters and TV crews did
not arrive in time to film it --- because of distance and time-warp
complications. 

You also said::
>The solution to this dilemma would be to educate the media to stop pushing
>key words like Richter scale, and start reporting recorded ground
>accelerations.  Then, we can hold a credible discussion based on physics and
>science.

Your suggestion to re-educate the media so it reports and re-educates the
general public on the subject of "ground acceleration" is asking too much. For
the general public the word "acceleration" is usually understood when talking
about automobiles accelerating from ZERO to 60 mph in (say) 8 seconds. But it
would be a great public service on your part if you were to suggest a term (a
phrase) describing "ground acceleration" as an alternative to Richter (or
moment) magnitude without the necessity of taking engineering college courses.

Also, I don't think the general public would be interested in debates on
earthquakes based on physics and science. 

Sincerely