Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have written about earthquakes a couple of times before, and back in 2010, when there was that big earthquake in Haiti, I wrote a really brilliant blog entry about what makes earthquakes happen.  You probably remember from your reading that there are these things in the earth's crust called tectonic plates, and the plates are all the time rubbing against each other and making rumbly, shaky stuff happen up on the surface, where we live.  But even though this goes on all the time, day and night, usually we don't even feel it because (1) we might not live above the crack between two plates, or (2) the earthquake is just a little one that can only be felt by somebody who is very sensitive, like that girl in the "Princess and the Pea" story.

But scientists like to know about every tiny earthquake that happens anyplace in the world, so they invented some instruments that can tell if the earth is shaking, even just a tiny bit.  If you are also a person who likes to know about earthquakes and other such happenings, there's a website where you can go and waste a lot of time checking out all the latest events.

This site is called the Global Incident Map site.  The page I like to look at most often is the one about earthquakes, which is here:   This page is constantly being updated to tell you what's shaking, so to speak.  I checked out the site at about 11:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, which was when I was getting ready to start writing my blog entry, and I will tell you about some of the earthquakes I saw listed then.  But by the time I post this blog entry Thursday morning, I'll bet a whole bunch of new quakes will have happened.

First of all, I was surprised to find out that there had been an earthquake right here in Missouri, down in the southeast part, only 30 minutes before I looked at the site.  It was just a little quake, only 2.7 on the Richter scale.  There had been some bigger earthquakes four or five hours before that, like for example one in Fiji that was a magnitude 5, and one in Argentina that was a 4.9.

A cow with foot-and-mouth disease
Okay, well, if you want to look at something besides earthquakes, you can go to the Disease Outbreaks Map.  This is really a scary map because there is a ton of disease going on!  India is pretty much totally covered up with little disease symbols.  Indians are getting sick and dying from all kinds of things such as dengue fever, avian flu, swine flu, and encephalitis.

The very first swine flu victim of this year was in Pindi, Pakistan.  Uganda has ebola virus, and Australia has a few cases of avian flu.  The disease map also tells about animals that are getting sick, which is one reason why I think it's a scary map.  For example, in China, there are animals with foot-and-mouth disease.  In Armenia, two cows died of anthrax, and in Kruger National Park in South Africa, thirty hippos also died from anthrax.  Yikes!  Closer to home, in Springfield, Missouri, more than 100 birds were found dead near a certain intersection.  And the most scary thing of all is that there were two new cases of canine brucellosis in Argentina.

Another page on the Global Incident Map website is about Amber Alerts.  It shows who is missing, who has been found, and who was found dead.  It also shows where somebody tried to kidnap somebody, but they got away.

There's a map about Border Security Issues, and I was shocked to learn from this map that two male humans had been caught smuggling drugs in California on the Del Mar Dog Beach.  I hope they weren't doing anything bad to the dogs!

Gang graffiti
Here are some other maps you can look at, if you are interested:  Non-Terror Aviation Incidents, Human Trafficking, Food/Medicine Incidents, Forest Fires, Drug Interdictions, Gang Activity, and HAZMAT Situations.  There are also two maps where you have to log in before you can look at them, which I have never done, so I haven't seen at these maps.  One is called Presidential Threats and the other is Terrorism Event Predictions.

Anyway, I think you can tell that the Global Incident Map website has plenty of things for everybody to look at.  So if you are curious about this stuff, get busy looking.  Who knows, maybe you will find out there was an earthquake in your backyard while you were sleeping!


  1. Dear Piper - you are talking my talk - I LOVE maps. In fact my daughter thinks I go a little over-board with maps. Being a member of AAA, I'm always requesting some kind of map - just to look at it! OK - I know "maps" isn't the main subject of your blog, but the word was included. LOL!! OH, by the way, I was living in CA when the big 1989 San Francisco earthquake hit. We lived about 65-70 miles east of San did quite a bit of damage in our small city. Thanks for today's blog.
    Love, AP

    1. Dear AP,
      I'm so glad the Blogspot Powers That Be let you post a comment today! My mom really likes maps, too. She doesn't have GPS because she likes to look at a map to figure out where to go. I don't use maps because I just follow my nose to anything that smells like maybe I could eat it! LOL
      Love, Piper