Good earth

The massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan recently has given rise to a new phenomenon called a complex mega-disaster . Such a catastrophe takes place only when a massive earthquake occurs underneath an ocean, large enough to create movements on the sea floor.

A recent geological analysis of terrestrial as well as extra-terrestrial satellite data has the potential to predict earthquake and tsunami in space and time. It has been observed that before the occurrence of this combination the temperature of earth, sea surface and atmosphere rises slowly. After the earthquake, the temperature falls dramatically resulting in snowfall in high altitudes and rainfall in low-altitude areas.

Space observatory-heliophysical observatory data and cosmic ray data fluctuations can be used to predict short-term earthquakes while tsunami prediction and long-term prediction for earthquakes can be done on the basis of regular seismic microsonation. Mukherjee, however, states that a country needs trained geologists and resources to install these systems.

Unfortunately, there is limited preparedness for natural disasters vis-à-vis the rapid growth in infrastructure. "If the earthquake is more that 6 on the Richter scale, it can lead to massive destruction of property and life. Important structures like nuclear power plants and chemical factories can also become its victim depending on the intensity of the disaster. The major problem is that the buildings in developing countries are not constructed according to norms of earthquake-prone areas," adds Mukherjee.

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