ring of fire

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JAPAN- MARCH 17 2011: Government officials walk down a recently cleared roadway in Kesennuma, where the earthquake spawned tsunami caused a massive fuel spill and fire further consuming the Japanese coastal town, famous for it's tuna fishing fleet Thursday March 17 2011. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Last month, in less than 24 hours, a series of earthquakes struck New Zealand, Japan, Vanuatu and Indonesia along the circum-Pacific belt, also known as the “Ring of Fire.” West Coast residents, particularly those in California and the Pacific Northwest, are worried they could be next.

Seismologists admit that while frequent earthquakes in this region are common, a cluster of this size is “unusual.”

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