Earthquakes: Fun Facts
You must’ve seen videos of buildings shaking and objects rattling when an earthquake occurs. But do you know what an earthquake is? In this article let’s discover what are earthquakes phenomena actually all about.
The earth is covered by tectonic plates which are floating land masses. When the plates shift, seismic waves travel through the earth causing earthquakes.
Let’s look at some facts about earthquakes:
- The most powerful earthquake ever recorded was in Valdivia, Chile. It had a magnitude of 9.5!
- Earthquake prone countries like Japan build houses that react well to earthquakes. Good engineering practices can help stop buildings collapsing when an earthquake occurs.
- San Francisco is moving toward Los Angeles at the rate of 2 inches per year — the same pace as the growth of your fingernails! The cities will meet in several million years!
- You’d think that the Himalayas would be becoming shorter due to global warming. Contrarily, they are growing taller! The Indian plate pushes against the Eurasia plate making the Himalayas increase in height. Mountaineers will have to climb for longer to reach the peak in a few hundred years.
- The epicentre is the point on the surface directly above where the earthquake originated.
- Seismometers measure the magnitude of earthquakes.
- There are about 500,000 earthquakes a year around the world.
- A city in Chile moved 10 feet when the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck on 27th Feb 2010! The tear in Earth’s crust shifted the city of Concepción 10 feet to the west.
- Earth’s bulge was trimmed a little by the 2004 Indonesian earthquake of magnitude 9.0! Earth’s midsection bulges as compared to the measurement from pole-to-pole. The huge land displacement caused a small reduction in the bulge.
- The Pacific Ring of Fire is the most geologically active region of Earth.
- Quakes on one side of Earth can affect the other side! Seismologists studying the massive 2004 earthquake found that the quake had weakened at least a portion of California’s famed San Andreas Fault.
- The earthquake that hit the Tohoku region of Japan had a magnitude of 9.0 and killed over 15000 people!
- The deadliest earthquake ever struck in Shansi, China killing 830,000 people!
It is an earthquake that is thought to have caused the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.It is thought to have had the the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs!! The rupture was more than 600 miles long. It displaced the seafloor by yards. Trillions of tons of rock moved, causing the massive earthquake.