Earthquake Triggers ‘Desert Tsunami’ in Death Valley, Reducing Food Available to Pupfish



The 7.6 magnitude earthquake triggered a desert tsunami in Death Valley, affecting the food availability to pupfish, according to National Park Service’s press release.

The National Park Service explained that the 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit the Mexican states of Colima and Michoacán on September 19 (Monday). It is located 1500 miles away in Devil’s Hole, Death Valley.

According to reports, Devil’s Hole is considered a limestone Cave located in Nevada’s portion of the national park.

Reducing food sources

What is problematic after the earthquake is how it stirred the sediment rocks on the shallow shelf. As a result, it has affected and removed the algae growth.

With algae growth in the area affected, the Park authorities said that it could reduce the food source for the pupfish.

Based on the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the Devil’s Hole pupfish is Cyprinodon diabolis. The appearance shows a bright blue with purple accents. On the other hand, the White Sands pupfish looks yellow with orange fins.

In addition, pupfish are small, with a size of 2.5 centimeters in length. Their food diet is algae, insects, or plants.

The NWF explained that pupfish are low in numbers and considered endangered. The reason being is they occur in low numbers with a small habitat.

On the other hand, National Park Service aquatic ecologist Kevin Wilson said they did not find any fish there after the waves did stop.

He explained that pupfish survived several events in recent years. He added that the Devil’s Hole pupfish is on the upswing.

Amazingly, National Park Service said there were only 35 fish in their habitat nine years ago, but in March 2022, the population reached up to 175 fish.

For updates on the National Park Service in the Death Valley, visit their website here.

Earthquake preparation tips

An earthquake can hit anytime. The impact of a strong earthquake can damage homes, buildings, major roads, and hospitals. You must know what you should do during and after the earthquake. Here are some of the tips from the American Red Cross. 

During the earthquake, remember ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On.’ The American Red Cross said most injuries happen because of people panicking or moving around. Look for something that can protect your head and torso.

Related Article: Forecasts Say Tropical Threats Seen Brewing in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico

If you are inside the building, leave after the earthquake shaking. Instead of an elevator, it is safer on stairs because power can be affected during an earthquake. As you leave the premises, look around for potential falling debris.

Try to move away from trees, streetlights, and buildings outdoors as they might collapse or fall on you. Assuming you drive a vehicle, pull over to a safe location, and avoid bridges as much as possible.

After the earthquake or when you feel that there are no aftershocks, check yourself for injuries and inform your family that you’re safe. Listen to your local authorities for updates or evacuation if needed.

Noticeably, aftershocks and tsunamis could go after an earthquake.

Related Article: New Findings in Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall Eruption Can Help Understand How Volcanoes Work

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