Earthquakes are not a “sign of 2012”
Many 2012’ers say that recent earthquakes are a sign of the ‘2012 prophecy’. 2012hoax.org has written a fantastic article that shows earthquakes are not becoming more frequent or intense. There is no question that there have been a lot of earthquakes recently. But, is the number of earthquakes larger than normal? Are the earthquakes getting stronger, as some people have been claiming?
|Magnitude||No. per Year||Examples|
|8 and higher||1||Chile 2010 (8.8), Chile 1960 (9.5), Alaska 1964 (9.2)|
|7 – 7.9||17||Haiti 2010 (7.0)|
|6 – 6.9||134||Loma Prieta, CA. 1989 (6.9)|
|5 – 5.9||1319|
|4 – 4.9||13,000|
|3 – 3.9||130,000||Illinois 2010 (3.8)|
|2 – 2.9||1,300,000|
In Addition, the USGS has graphs of earthquakes statistics, including deaths, dating back to 1980 on this page.
Earthquakes not on the rise.
The claim that the number and intensity of earthquakes are “on the rise” is directly disputed by the USGS. From the USGS website :
Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?
According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 – 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.
We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.
A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.
In conclusion: Earthquakes are not becoming more frequent. Earthquakes are not becoming more intense. There is 110 years of data from the United States Geological Survey which shows that there is no increase in the size or number of earthquakes. There is no reason to expect that 2012 will be anything than an ordinary year as far as earthquakes.
 Note that the number of deaths is only somewhat related to magnitude. Massive quakes occurring in developed nations with strict building codes will incur far fewer deaths than moderate quakes in undeveloped or semi-developed nations without those same building codes. For example, compare the number of deaths between the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 (Mag. 7.1, 63 deaths) to the Haiti quake in 2010 (Mag 7.0, est. 230,000 deaths)