Study links tropical cyclones to earthquakes
San Francisco: US researchers said today they have found evidence that tropical cyclones in Haiti and Taiwan were followed by earthquakes, suggesting that heavy rains and landslides may unleash temblors.
"Very wet rain events are the trigger," said Universityof Miami scientist Shimon Wdowinski, an associate research professor of marine geology and geophysics.
"The heavy rain induces thousands of landslides and severe erosion, which removes ground material from the Earth's surface, releasing the stress load and encouraging movement along faults."
Wdowinski and researchers from Florida International University analysed data from major earthquakes – magnitude six and higher -- in Taiwan and Haiti over the past 50 years and found that large quakes tended to follow within four years of a very wet tropical cyclone season.