Fun Facts about Earthquakes

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Scientists have been studying earthquakes for thousands of years. In honor of International Disaster Reduction Day, here are some interesting facts about the disasters that have shaped our understanding of the Earth.

What are the Causes of Earthquakes?

Earthquakes occur when the earth’s crust is pulled apart or is compressed too tightly, creating sudden jolts of energy. This often happens when one of the tectonic plates that are found under the surface of the Earth slips past another. Another cause for earthquakes are landslides and volcanic eruptions.

How Frequent are Earthquakes?

Earthquakes are caused by the movement of tectonic plates. There is a ten percent chance of an earthquake in any given year. The largest earthquake on record happened in Chile in 1960 and measured 9.5 on the Richter scale. Approximately two earthquakes occur each day.

Why Do Earthquakes Occur?

Earthquakes are scary, but they’re also truly fascinating. There are many theories as to why earthquakes occur, and scientists haven’t found a solid answer yet. Some of the most popular theories include that earthquakes happen because of molten rock beneath the Earth’s surface. Others say that they happen because of pressure in rock formations, or because seismic waves push their way through rock formations and cause them to shift the position of ground above them.

How do we predict Earthquakes?

Scientists have predicted the time and place of earthquakes. We can predict an earthquake by analyzing the behavior of tectonic plates. Scientists use seismometers to measure earthquakes and other movements in Earth’s crust before they happen. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a group of scientists and engineers that work for the Department of Interior. The USGS uses seismographs, which are sensitive to small tremors in the ground, to record earthquake information. When an earthquake is recorded, the USGS notifies emergency officials and other scientific centers around the world. There are two types of earthquakes: those that occur at fault lines and those that happen because of volcanic activity.

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How can we Prepare for an Earthquake?

There are many ways to prepare for an earthquake. The most important is to know where your nearest bomb shelter is located. If you aren’t in a bomb shelter, it’s best to find a safe place and set up a disaster kit with the supplies that you need. You should also make sure that your family knows how to get out of the building quickly and has some type of emergency plan in case of an earthquake. An earthquake is a sudden, violent shaking of the ground that is caused when at least one fault suddenly slips, releases pent-up energy, and causes rapid deformation of the Earth’s surface above. Earthquakes most often occur at tectonic plate boundaries and result from the release of stored elastic strain energy that builds up as a result of long periods of slow deformation.

What’s Happening in Mexico at the Moment?

A magnitude 8.1 earthquake has struck off the coast of Mexico, just south of the resort city of Acapulco. The quake was felt in Mexico City, more than 800 miles away, with reports of possible damage to buildings and injuries. The earthquake occurred on October 12 at a depth of 10 kilometers (roughly 6 miles). Mexico is actually known as the country with the most earthquakes. In fact, they have been having an average of 5-6 earthquakes a day. Mexico City has also seen a few big jolts of 6+ every year since 1877.

Final Note

It is not surprising that the United States has more earthquakes per year than any other country in the world. The U.S. experiences an average of 1,500 to 3,000 earthquakes a year and its territory includes much of the Earth’s crust where tectonic plates are slowly grinding past each other.

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