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Earthquake damage seen from space

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 23, 2012, 4:09 p.m.
Earthquake damage in San Franscico

Photo: USGS, C.E.Meyer

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How the Earth moves

What would the world be like if earthquakes could be forecast like the weather?

 

Of all of our planet’s events, earthquakes are among its most discreet. (Though the results are not, as shown in this image of damage in San Francisco caused by the Northridge, Calif., quake of 1994.)

 

Despite incredible advances in seismic technology, experts are still unable to provide any significant warning of an earthquake’s impending arrival.

 

However, NASA is foremost in the efforts to improve our understanding of how the planet moves, providing incredible images of earthquakes and the aftereffects. Here are eight views of what our planet looks like after a devastating earthquake. (Text: Katherine Butler)