With news of the latest big earthquake -- this one in central China -- many people are wondering if there is more shaking happening in the world than is usual. A Los Angeles Times essay says no. The number of tremors, large and small, this year is rather typical. What may be different is the greater incidence of destructive quakes in populated areas. Most sesmic activity occurs in remote areas, but with expanding world population the chance of fatalities and severe damage increases.
For the obsessive worrier, the U.S. Geologic Survey provides near real-time reporting of recent earthquakes around the globe. Here's a running list of quakes (2.5 or greater in the United States and 4.5 or greater outside the country) that have occured in the past seven days. There's also a similiar list and accompanying map for current activity in California (magnitude 3.0 and greater). Map pinpoints are coded for recency and size.