Perhaps there is no place on earth where people do not face the threat of this or that natural disaster. Every year hurricanes, whirlwinds, avalanches, landslides and creeps mow off tens and hundreds of thousands of lives. However, mankind has learnt how to stand up to these calamities in the aquatic or air environment or quickly respond to them; expert forecasts allow to minimize the aftermath. However, there are many disasters which we are unable to forecast, even though their consequences are really frightening. Like those of earthquakes and tsunamis.
Catastrophes occurring due to tectonic movements of the earth crust are discussed by Yuri Golubchikov in an article published in the Energiya (Energy) journal. The author points out that magnitude of an earthquake and its destructive force are two different things. The most violent earthquakes (up to 11 points on the seismic scale) on the territory of our country took place in sparsely populated regions of the Baikal Rift Zone, and no one remembers them. But the earthquake that hit Ashkhabad in 1948 (8 - 9 points, the most violent earthquake on the USSR territory in the number of victims - 110 thous. people), and one in Tashkent (1966, 8 points) will be remembered forever, through the authorities tried to hush up or understate the toll in dead and destructions - even natural disasters were supposed to spare the country of victorious socialism... Everyone remembers the Spitak earthquake of 1988 in Armenia (25 thous. people killed*) - that time on the wave of "the policy of openness" Soviet citizens came to understand: apart from the verbal husks about working-class solidarity, there were also a compassion, grief and charity.
The author speaks not only about the social aftereffects of tectonic catastrophes, but also about economic losses-actual and potential. In particular, he tells about the project of laying a Taishet-Vladivostok oil pipeline through the northernmost part of the Baikal Rift, i.e. in the most seism ... Read more