13 important facts about earthquakes

Read ahead to learn about various aspects of earthquakes.

Earthquakes, defined as the “sudden shaking of the Earth’s surface”, is a real threat to the humanity as well as nature. When two blocks of the planet’s crust slip against one another, it produces seismic waves which result in causing the earthquakes. Apart from the tectonic movements, several other factors such as volcanic eruptions, underground explosions, meteor impacts etc. can also contribute to the phenomenon. Naturally, the edges of the tectonic plates, which consist of faults, are more prone to it. To be more precise, places like Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Chile, Japan, Nepal, California, Mississippi etc. are always at a much higher risk of the disaster. Each year, thousands of earthquakes, ranging from moderate to intense, occur at various parts of the world. It’s important to note that the number has been drastically increasing over the last few years.

Here are some important facts about the earthquakes.

John Michell, a renowned British engineer, first identified the causes of earthquakes.

Hypocentre refers to the spot where an earthquake generates. It is located under the ground. On the other side, epicentre is the spot where the earthquake starts above the ground.

Richter Scale, which was invented by the renowned American scientist Charles Richter in 1935, has been being used to measure the intensity of the earthquakes. However, as it is not accurate all the time, the scientists are nowadays using the Moment Magnitude Scale for the measurements.

Each year, almost half a million earthquakes remain undetectable due to their extremely low magnitudes.

More than 80% of the world’s strongest earthquakes take place along the basin of the Pacific Ocean, which is known as the Ring of Fire.

Mount Everest shrunk by around 1 inch due to a massive earthquake (measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale) in 2015.

The strongest recorded earthquake happened in Chile on 22nd May, 1960. It measured 9.5 on the Moment Magnitude Scale.

As par the Japan mythology, Namazu (a large catfish) causes all the earthquakes on the land.

In average, an earthquake lasts less than a minute.

Aftershocks refer to the smaller earthquakes that occur following the major earthquake in a particular land. On the other side, foreshocks refer to the earthquakes taking place before the big one.

The seismologists (experts in the subject of earthquakes) can neverpredict when and where an earthquake is going to occur.

Earthquakes are a reason of various natural disasters such as floods, landslides, avalanche, fire etc. The tsunamis occur as a result of the underwater earthquakes.

In the past 4000 years, around 13 million people have lost their lives due to earthquakes.

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