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The world was ‘considerably quieter’ in significant earthquake activity during the first half of 1979 compared to last year, according to a scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey.

The number of significant earthquakes was down sharply, with only 20 in 1979 through June 30 compared to 36 in the first half of 1978 and 62 for all of last year. Significant earthquakes are defined as those registering 6.5 or more on the Richter scale or smaller ones that cause casualties or considerable damage.