Earthquakes might be the worst fear for many people, but don’t you know that actually not all regions in the world experience it as many times as other parts of the world? Yes, there are some places in this world whom ground is shaken more frequently than the others.
Let us introduce you to the Ring of Fire, a major area in the basin of Pacific Ocean where 81% of the world’s earthquakes happen. The shape doesn’t really resemble a round ring, actually, but it more likely appears like a horse.
If the difference between the name and its real shape doesn’t really bother you, then why is it called ‘of fire’? The answer is pretty simple, because the area is surrounded by ‘fire’. Not real fire though, but rather active volcanoes.
It might sound scary living in the Ring of Fire, frequent earthquakes and thousands of active volcanoes feel threatening to most of us. But actually, for the people living in the area, it might be a grace. How can? In this article we will talk about this.
First, we will talk about what makes the Ring of Fire. The reason why the horseshoe area has so much active volcanoes and experience more frequent earthquakes is the tectonic plate movement and collision under the ground.
Such kind of movements of tectonic plates happens constantly, meaning that it has occurred since the birth of the earth and will always happen until the end of the world. Don’t you know that the tectonic movement also resulted in the breaking of Eurasia supercontinent?
Centered on the Pacific plate, also known as the Circum-Pacific plate, it is directly intersected with other plates, such as North American plate, Nazca plate, and Australian plate. While such intersection usually take place in the middle of the ocean, especially for the Ring of Fire in Pacific plate the intersection pass through many lands.
In example, in the west area the plate is passing through Japan, New Zealand, and Indonesia. While in the north-east area, the intersection is located just along the north American shorelines that affects Hawaii, some parts of Canada, and the west coast area of United States.
The movement of tectonic plate that usually includes collision results in deep ocean trenches, eruption of volcanoes, and earthquakes. Such kind of collision usually happens along the lines where two plates meet and this area is called the fault lines.
The Horseshoe Area
Like mentioned before, many people are living in the Ring of Fire because, even on the fault lines. Japan, Hawaii, and Papua are among the places passed through by the intersections. That’s why, in those places we can find many active volcanoes and earthquakes occurs more frequently.
In example, in Japan, earthquakes happen much more frequently than in Sweden. People in Japan are pretty accustomed to such natural occurrence that they even have some kind of earthquakes evacuation drills and simulations that the citizens take regularly.
Not only on the land, the collision impact actually also affects the ocean. The deepest place on earth, and the most mysterious one too, Mariana trench is located in east Guam. The trench was formed by tectonic activity where one plate was pushed down under another and formed the 7-miles deep trench.
The gap between tectonic plates might also affect the volcanic activities too, because about 75% of earth’s volcanoes are located in the area. In example mount Tambora and Krakatoa are located in Indonesia which is under the Ring of Fire. Both volcanoes known to produce the biggest eruptions in history.
Bless In Disguise
You might also think that living in the ring of fire is like living under the terror for the whole time. But actually, it is not always about the disasters and destruction. Most areas directly touched by the horseshoe are actually just like heaven.
Although 75% of earth’s volcanoes are placed in the area, but the activities of those volcanoes don’t always bring destruction with the eruption. Majority of the time, the volcanoes just showing thin smokes and dust from the crater.
Such view is actually loved by many people, in example you can see how mount Bromo, Semeru, and Agung in Indonesia also mount Fujiyama in Japan. The smokes and dust emitted by the mountains become the cosmetics of already beautiful scenery around it.
In addition, the volcanic dust is highly fertile, giving bless to the farmers and other people doing agricultural activities. Crops can grow easily and abundance in the area, no wonder many people choose to become farmers.
And also, not only there are many active volcanoes, but there are also extinct volcanoes and the dormant ones. Those relatively safe mountains will provide you brilliant scenery, such as mount Apo in Mindanao, Philippines.
Little Piece Of Heaven?
If you still think that living in the ring of fire is frightening, apparently most people actually spend their lives under the ‘big terror’ don’t think so. Even most of them consider it as a part of heaven sent down to the earth.
Fertile soil and outstanding scenery will most likely make up for the potential jeopardy lurking under the ground. However, most of them have adapted well to the condition and prepared to face the upcoming hazards caused by earthquakes or volcanic activities.
In example, to avoid being crushed by rubble or ruins, people in Japan have special kind of architectural solution for their homes. It can prevent their houses from easily collapsing when hit by low to medium scale earthquakes.
Another example is people living around volcanoes, who are granted fertile soil, usually plant seasonal plants that don’t take long to harvest and avoid long-term plantations such as teak. It will prevent further loss when the volcano erupts so as soon as the disaster is over they can start a new life immediately.
Well, like we mentioned before living in the ring of fire is a bless in disguise. You have to be fully aware of potential dangers that may hit you but most of the time just enjoy the little piece of heaven.