Relax, Seattle: The Next Big Earthquake Probably Isn't Happening Anytime Soon

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Fear not: this ain't happening for, like, generations.
Apocalyptic thoughts are all the rage these days. Before the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano spewed its way into the spotlight, there were deadly earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and China, all in quick succession. Is the world coming to an end? Not hardly.

Eric Fielding is a NASA geophysicist who uses satellites to study earthquakes. In a recent interview, Fielding put the kibosh on the idea that all this spring shaking was anything out of the ordinary.

"The most important thing to remember is there are earthquakes all the time, someplace in the world," he said. "In a normal year, there are around 16 earthquakes with magnitudes 7 or higher. So far this year we've had six earthquakes like that. So we're well within the expected range for a three- or four-month period."

For Seattleites living near one of the world's most dangerous faults, those are comforting words. For our as-yet-unborn great-great-great-grandkids? Less so.

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