Scientists can make predictions about earthquake probability, but there is no reliable way to foresee any given earthquake. Some people have claimed that they can predict earthquakes, but their claims do not withstand scientific scrutiny.Know More
In areas along large fault lines, where earthquakes occur more frequently, scientists can estimate the average length of time between major earthquakes. On the San Andreas fault, for example, there is usually a large-scale earthquake every 100 years. Many scientists subscribe to the theory that the next earthquake is likely to happen when the strain released by the previous earthquake is re-established.
Short-term earthquake prediction is much more difficult to accomplish. There are some precursors to warn the community, but it is difficult to observe them and to determine if the precursors actually cause earthquakes.Learn more about Earthquakes
The Sumatran-Andaman earthquake on December 26, 2004, is the longest lasting earthquake ever recorded. The continuous shaking lasted from 500 to 600 seconds, or about 10 minutes.Full Answer >
Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement in opposing tectonic plates in the earth. As plates move against each other, sometimes the rocky edges catch against one another. The rest of the plate remains in motion, putting stress on the sticking point, and when it gives way, an earthquake occurs.Full Answer >
Earthquakes happen when the boundaries of the Earth's tectonic plates bump and slide past one another; sometimes, they get stuck on jagged edges and cause earthquakes once they are released. These earthquakes are always followed by aftershocks starting from the same epicenter.Full Answer >
The effects of an earthquake range from mild to severe and include structural damage, damaged gas lines, tidal waves, fires, avalanches and flooding. The amount of damage an earthquake can cause depends greatly on the size of the earthquake. The 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California was a magnitude 6.7, caused 57 deaths, 5,000 injuries, and damaged homes, bridges and structures.Full Answer >