The Ring Of Fire

Pacific Ring of FireThere is a place on Earth called The Ring of Fire.  The Ring of Fire is the horseshoe shaped 25,000 mile long stretch of coastline and adjacent islands. It is home to 452 volcanoes and is the center of most of the Earth’s seismic activity.  90% of the earthquakes our planet experiences happen in this region.  The edges of the Pacific Ocean and the ground beneath, as well as the countries attached, shake, rattle, and roll on a regular basis.  This can cause a natural phenomenon known as a tsunami.  A tsunami is the result of tectonic movement and causes the ocean to rise high and hit land with tremendous force.  

The countries and islands in the path of all the movement include the west coast of South America, the west coast and southern coasts of North America, all along the Bering Strait, (southern Russia,) to the island of Japan, to the Indonesian and Philippine islands, then running down the east coast of New Zealand.  There are active and inactive volcanoes in Antarctica that close the seismic and volcanic Ring.  Earthquakes happen when two blocks of earth slip past each other very suddenly. The fault is the surface where they slip.  The area just below the surface of the earth where the earthquake starts is the hypocenter and the location above it on the earth’s surface is called the epicenter.  The epicenter would be identified by scientists by town or city or area just off a coastline to notify people where the earthquake happened.  Based on the geographical identification, they can pinpoint the fault line involved.  A fault line is a crack or fracture in the Earth’s crust. Fault lines can be several miles long or hundreds of miles long.  They can be close to the surface or run miles deep.

If your home is in a country in the Ring of Fire, you have probably experienced an earthquake.  You know how suddenly they can happen.  You also know they can shake and move quickly back-and-forth or they can roll.  No matter how it feels physically, in terms of time, it feels like it is going on forever.  In fact, most last just mere moments.  In those moments, being safe is most important.  You must identify the hazards in your home, such as furniture that can fall or gas appliances that can rip away from the wall and cause a gas leak.  You must prepare a kit for your home and your car.  The kit should include food, water, a first aid kit for your family and your pet(s), warming blankets, temporary shelter, a shovel, light sources, extra glasses, medications, and a battery operated radio.  You should have a light source by each family members bed, as well as a pair of shoes as there can be broken glass in bedrooms.  Make an evacuation plan and a safe family meeting spot.


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