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Why Worry? An Earthquake Will Wipe Us Out Anyway

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Amidst today's doom and gloom about the death of the real estate boom, it's always good to toss in a little Wrath of God perspective. The new Gotham Gazette provides some big chuckles in this respect with a report about how we're all royally screwed anyway because an earthquake will eventually reduce part of NYC to rubble and really mess with real estate values. A report from Columbia University seismologists concludes that a quake is "likely" to hit us. For those into playing the numbers, the city can expect a magnitude 5 quake, which can cause some damage, once every 100 years. The scientists also say that a magnitude 6, which is 10 times larger, "has a 7 percent chance of happening once every 50 years and a magnitude 7 quake, 100 times larger, a 1.5 percent chance." Nobody's sure when a 6 or 7 last happened, but it was probably before 1677. As for a magnitude 5, the last one was in 1884. There were also ones in 1737 and 1783. In other words, we've been overdue for a magnitude 5, which could cause significant damage here for reasons that are too complicated to explain, since 1994. Just in case there isn't enough depressing news today.
· Preparing for the Great New York Earthquake [Gotham Gazette]
· Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study [Earth Institute]
· Day of the Dead Coverage [Curbed]