10 Facts about Earthquakes
Earthquakes are one of the most dangerous natural disasters in the world. This is evident in light of the recent earthquake which occured in Haiti with a magnitude of 7 and a death toll in the six digits. Earhquakes can strike at any time of the day, they can occur without warning and they can occur and at all levels of severity. In order to become more familiar with this deadly act of nature I have put together a list of interesting facts that everyone should know about earthquakes.
1. Earthquakes can not be prevented- We may not be able to prevent an earthquake, but we can mitigate the amount of damage an earthquake can cause. We are now more knowledgable when it comes to how to survive earthquakes as well how to build safer and stronger buildings so that they stay intact in the event of an earthquake
2. Approximatley 35 earthquakes occur in the US alone in one year- It is reported that approximatley 12,000-14,000 earthquakes occur yearly in the US. In the world approximatley 2 earthquakes occur every minute.
3. An earthquake can be simply defined as a sudden slip on a fault- More specifically an earthquake is caused by stress in the earths outer layers that cause rocks to slip suddenly resulting in energy waves which travel through rocks causing shaking to occur.
4. The largest recorded earthquake in the US was a magnitude of 9.2, which occured in Prince William Sound in 1964. The largest recorded earthquake in the world was a magnitude of 9.5, which occured in Chile in 1960.
5. Eartquakes can occur on the moon- Earthquakes on the moon are known as "moonquakes". These earthquakes occur less frequently and have much smaller magnitudes compared to the earthquakes that occur on Earth.
6. An epicenter of an earthquake is located directly above the hypocenter on the Earth's surface. The hypocentre of an earthquake is located beneath the Earth's surface and this is where the rupture of the fault begins.
7. Earthquakes typically last for about 60 seconds.
8. Alaska is the most earthquake prone area in the world. Aproximatley every fourteen years Alaska experiences an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.
9. Earthquakes are one of the few natural disasters which is not dependent on the weather. This means that earthquakes can occur in any kind of weather.
10. One of the deadliest earthquakes in the world occured in Shansi China in1556 with a death toll of around 800,000. The most recent deadliest earthquake occured in 2004 off the westcoast of northern Sumatra, over 255,000 lives where claimed in this tragedy.