The Explosion Of Columbia University 's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
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At 10:27 am the streets of Newcastle became filled with thousands of devastated people as they spilled onto the streets as buildings began to crumble around them.
The shock measured 5.6 on the Richter magnitude scale, in seconds it turned a two story building into a disaster zone.
Rescue services such as VRA, Newcastle ambulance and fire departments and SES acted quickly trying to free people trapped under buildings. As a result of the earthquake 13 people were confirmed dead, more than 160 people were injured and left damage worth 3.5 billion U.S. dollars. Many of the city 's historical buildings were decimated - along with 35,000 homes damaged, resulting in 1000 displaced people.
According to a study conducted Christian D. Klose of Columbia University 's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, the quake was triggered by changes in tectonic forces caused by 200 years of underground coal mining. But even more significant was groundwater pumping needed to keep the mines from flooding. For each ton of coal produced, 4.3 times more water was extracted. The mass removal of coal and water caused an “unload” of the entire continental crust. In the case of mining, an unload is the reduction of weight in a certain area, e.g., black coal and water in a colliery. If it has enough time, the tectonic plate reacts to this unload by forming a small deformation. If it does not have enough time because the rate of mass removal is too high, a fault zone can be reactivated