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.
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.Learn More
The United States Geological Survey keeps a record of all earthquakes around the globe. In addition to providing seismic data from survey sites, the USGS also offers an application that allows users to report earthquake tremors they have felt. The USGS records all geological activity, not just earthquakes.Full Answer >
The epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the surface of the Earth directly above the point in the crust where a seismic rupture occurs. This origin point within the crust is called the hypocenter or focus.Full Answer >
Earthquakes occur due to the movement of tectonic plates in the Earth's crust. Plates constantly shift and move, building energy. The release of that energy is an earthquake.Full Answer >
The first earthquake to ever take place is unknown as it happened before the records of the events were kept. The first recorded earthquake was in 1769.Full Answer >