The Richter scale measures the power of earthquakes around the world and was developed by Mr.Charles Richter, an American seismologist and physicist. This scale was designed to give scientists and people around the globe an idea of the strength of any occurring earthquake. Most quakes are measured between 2.0 magnitudes and 10.0 magnitudes with around 8,000 microquakes falling in the “less than 2.0” bracket actually occurring every day yet not felt.
The largest amount of earthquakes that are felt recorded by the Richter scale is estimated at around 49,000 per year and fall in the 3.0-3.9 magnitude bracket, classed as Minor quakes. Earthquakes that are measured in the 4.0-4.9 range are regarded as Light with 5.0-5.9 quakes labelled as Moderate. Any earthquake that measures 6.0 and above on the Richter scale goes from recorded as Strong to Major, Great and finally Epic coming in at a 10.0+ in magnitude power but never recorded.
The worst ever earthquake recorded to date happened in Chile in the year 1960 and measured a massive 9.5 on the Richter scale. Over 2,000 people lost their lives, 3,000 more were injured and a further 2,000,000 were left homeless after the devastating natural disaster that swept through Chile. A tsunami followed the earthquake that had devastating effects in other parts of the world and killing people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines. Much damage was also caused by the following tsunami to the west coast of America.
California in the USA is an area prone to earthquakes which can happen at any time and most people are taught to be earthquake aware both in the workplace and at schools. Many aftershocks are felt after an earthquake which can cause injuries and even death depending on the strength of the aftershock which is determined to an extent by the power of the initial quake. There are many people that feel they are on “borrowed time” living in parts of the USA and some predict a massive earthquake occurring in California possibly hitting a magnitude of 6.7 on the Richter scale over the next 30 years or so but of course no-one can predict that for certain.