Published 2016-12-09
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5 Interesting facts about earthquakes

Earthquakes usually happen when rocks underground suddenly break along a fault. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the earthquakes. Most of all earthquakes happen when pent up pressure in rocks along large and all active faults are suddenly released as the rock breaks. It's very simple, like if anything breaks, it creates noise through static and that static comes in the form of seismic waves that make the floor tremble, though it is not only sound waves. The inner core, outer core, crust, and mantle are the major layers of the Earth. The mantle and crust make a thin layer on the surface of the Earth. But this part is not all one piece, it is made up of many pieces of a complex puzzle covering the surface of the Earth.

1. The largest recorded earthquake in the United States

On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 pm local time, the biggest earthquake of magnitude 9.2 took place in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska. The earthquake waves started approximately 25 km beneath the surface. And this earthquake lasted for approximately 4.5 minutes and it was the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. history. After studying, the officials got to know that the epicenter of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, happened when the Pacific Plate lurched northward underneath the North American Plate.

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2. 500,000 detectable earthquakes each year

It is estimated that on Earth there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. Most of the earthquakes are never felt. Only 100,000 earthquakes can be felt among the 500,000 and 100 of them can cause damage. The most earliest and deadliest earthquake reported in California was felt in 1769 by explorers. The group was camping about 48 km southeast of Los Angeles in the USA.

Earthquakes lead to the probability of tsunamis caused by underwater earthquakes, which travels for about 400 m.p.h. The wave heights up to 100 feet as it approaches the shore. It can also cause landslides, fire, the breaking of things, tremors and destruction. Parts of an earthquake starts with the focus. This is the actual location where fault movement begins. Almost every earthquake has its focus located below the earth's surface.

3. The largest recorded earthquake in the world

The world's largest earthquake with an instrumentally recorded magnitude occurred on May 22, 1960, near Valdivia, in southern Chile. It was assigned a magnitude of 9.5 by the United States Geological Survey. It is referred to as the "Great Chilean Earthquake" and the "1960 Valdivia Earthquake." A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in an area between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara on April 25, 2015, which had been described as a force equaling that of 20 thermonuclear weapons. The destruction claimed the lives of at least 5,000 people while injuring 10,000 more with authorities warning that casualty numbers could have risen.

The world's deadliest recorded earthquake occurred in 1557 in central China. It struck a region where most people lived in caves carved from soft rocks. These dwellings collapsed during the earthquake, killing an estimate of 830,000 people. In 1976 another deadly earthquake struck in Tangshan, China, where more than 250,000 people were killed. And the earthquake in Kobe, Japan in 1995 had 5000 deaths.

4. The world’s deadliest recorded earthquake

A massive 8.8 earthquake in Chile moved the city of Concepción 10 feet to the west on February 27, 2010. This quake also shortened Earth's day and slightly changed the rotation of the planet. The deadliest earthquake known hit Shansi, China on January 23, 1556. An estimate of 830,000 people died. Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Most of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0.

Most earthquakes occur at depths of less than 80 km (50 miles) from the Earth’s surface. The Earth's surface consists of 20 constantly moving plates. The increase in pressure from shifting plates can cause the crust to break. This break allows the pressure to be released as energy, which moves through the Earth in the form of waves.

5. Why earthquake comes?

An earthquake is when the ground trembles due to sudden movements of plates in the earth’s crust. Such movements occur along faults, which are thin zones of crushed rock separating blocks of crust. When one block suddenly slips and moves near or along a fault, the energy released creates vibrations called seismic waves that radiate up through the crust to the earth’s surface, causing the ground to shake.

The theory of plate tectonics explains how the crust of the Earth is made up of several plates, and large areas of crust which float on the mantle. Since these plates are free to slowly move, they can either drift towards each other, away from each other or slide past each other. When they collide or rub against each other creating a friction that is when earthquakes occur.
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