The full power of the biggest temblors could be determined in as little as 10 to 15 seconds after they begin, a new study finds, and long before it ends.
Seismologists have never had a better understanding of earthquakes. But tragedy after tragedy shows that quakes still surprise and shockpeople with their mercurial behavior. Precise predictions of when and where quakes will occur, and how deadly they may be, are not yet possible. If, however, researchers could chronicle how quakes grow, they might be able to better forecast how powerful they will become.
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