x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

All shook-up

Earthquakes are humbling. They remind us of how little we control and can cause us to reconsider our place in the universe. This phenomenon is not just psychological or symbolic.

Earthquakes are humbling. They remind us of how little we control and can cause us to reconsider our place in the universe. This phenomenon is not just psychological or symbolic. According to Nasa, Chile's 8.8 magnitude earthquake caused the angle of the earth to shift by nearly 8 centimetres, owing to the steep incline of the fault underneath the country, scientists say. The fault shift that caused the Chilean earthquake was greater than that responsible for Indonesia's 2004 quake, which registered at 9.1 on the Richter Scale. Both were among the most powerful quakes ever recorded.

While the quake has dramatically altered the earth's landscape, and even managed to change the length of the day by 1.26 millionths of a second, we must remember first and foremost that time stopped for 800 Chileans this week. The Haitian earthquake killed 220,000 in January. These tragedies make us feel small, but should also remind us of our own responsibilities. The quakes should move us to action, even if they occured on the other side of the world.