As if the lethargy, weakness, and abhorrent sectarianism of the Lebanese were not enough to destroy dreams and hopes. Here, the movement of the earth came to place a new concern on the Lebanese people, who are now sleeping in the streets and cars with every small tremor.
February 6, 2023, was an inauspicious day for the Middle East in general, and for the Turkish and Syrian peoples in particular because a huge earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, and it was followed by another of 7.6 degrees of strength on the Richter scale, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including what struck Lebanon, a small country located along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, which has suffered in recent years from a stifling economic crisis.
Earthquakes and earth movement are not something new to Lebanon, as it is the country that embraces three tectonic plates: the Turkish plate, the African plate, and the Arabian plate. It is also the birthplace of three major clefts that cut it from end to end, namely: the Yammouneh cleft, the largest and most dangerous, the Roum cleft, and the Serghaya cleft.
The recent earthquake, which claimed the lives of thousands of people and caused mass destruction in the two countries (Syria and Turkey), also left two different points of view about the causes of the earthquakes that began on the sixth of February and are continuing to this day.
The first point of view is that earthquakes are likely to occur due to tectonic movement, which is a major cause of the occurrence of tremors, as the earth in its interior is formed from a group of floating pieces or plates, which rub against each other and collide in the form of divergent and convergent movements, which leads to the occurrence of tremors of different degrees. Without knowing the time of their occurrence, and sometimes they occur daily, we do not feel them because they come in the form of light tremors, that is, in short, they are made by nature.
While the second point of view presents the possibility of tremors and earthquakes as a result of continuous human activity, especially with the development we have reached, and they invoked several pieces of evidence, including what was published by a study in the Seismological Research Letters magazine. It states that 730 locations have had earthquakes, due to human activity, over the past 150 years.
According to them, human activity has led to huge earthquakes, with a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale. Thus, these earthquakes may be fatal, as they have negative effects on both humans and nature.
Among some human activities that may lead to earthquakes: First, mining and building dams, as some mining companies go deep into the drilling process and remove several rocks from the ground, which leads to instability. Secondly, crushing rocks, because the use of hydraulic fracturing requires pumping water, chemicals, and sand at high pressure into the rocks, to break them, leads to the emergence of wastewater in large quantities, and the disposal of this water leads to the occurrence of tremors.
The only difference between the two theories remains that natural earthquakes occur along rift lines, while human-caused earthquakes occur in places with light seismic activity. Here we reassure the Lebanese that there is no second point of view in our country, as we are light years away from the development reached by the rest of the countries. While we are already exposed to the natural tremors that have been mentioned within the first point of view, especially since our country is the birthplace of major clefts.
The government must resort to conducting awareness campaigns, so that citizens can know ways to survive in the event of any suden earthquake.
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