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# What are the effects of an earthquake?

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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.

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The amount of structural damage that can occur during an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 or higher depends on the construction of the structure. In California, many newer structures are specifically designed to withstand earthquakes, but some of the older buildings do not respond well to ground motions.

Earthquakes are defined as an intense shaking of the ground that occurs when a fracture in the earth's rocks causes the ground to shift. Rock fractures are also referred to as faults, which is where the term fault line developed. Fault lines are the specific locations of each fault, and they are continually studied and monitored by earth scientists.

Earthquakes occur at a moment's notice, and it is important for homeowners to be as prepared as possible in the event of a severe quake. This means keeping an earthquake kit with flashlights, water, batteries and spare food, as well as taking steps to ensure the home structure is secure.

## Related Questions

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The three types of earthquake waves are primary waves, secondary waves and surface waves. Primary waves are referred to as P waves, and secondary waves are called S waves. P waves and S waves move past Earth's crust, which is why they are also called body waves.

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The BBC explains that, in addition to a significant human death toll, earthquakes destroy the environment in the surrounding area by causing fires, tsunamis and landslides. While these events have relatively short-term environmental impacts, there are also longer-reaching consequences of an earthquake on the surrounding area.

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Finding the epicenter of an earthquake requires coordination between at least three seismographs separated by, ideally, hundreds of miles. This is because a seismograph is only capable of registering the strength and amplitude of an earthquake, which together give the distance to the epicenter, not its direction.