Why Do Earthquakes Happen?

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Earthquakes cause the earth to shake. It can hit anytime and anywhere. Furthermore, it can strike at different levels of intensity. The unpredictability of this natural disaster makes it even more dangerous and destructive. The shaking of the earth is caused naturally by seismic waves that are produced after the crust of the earth suddenly releases energy. In order to understand the different aspects of this natural activity, it is important to know why earthquakes happen.

Major Causes of Earthquakes

Why do earthquakes happen? Two things can start this kind of natural disaster. First, scientists have found some close connections between this event and volcanic eruptions. Evidently, places that are near volcanoes tend to experience more tremors. When there are volcanic activities, always expect movements or shaking on the ground. If there are violent volcanic activities, expect stronger earthquakes thereafter.

The second major reason behind this natural disaster is tectonic activity. When the faults and plate margins move, they cause varying intensities of earthquakes. When these movements are strong, expect higher intensity of tremors on the ground. Most earthquakes fall under this class. The magnitude of this natural activity can be measured using two different types of scales, namely the Richter Scale and the Mercalli Scale.

Explosive volcano eruptions produce tremors but are of limited extent. For instance, people can feel the tremors from an eruption only if they are at least 10 to 20 miles away from the base of the volcano. On the other hand, tectonic movements can produce tremors that can be felt all throughout the world.

Additional Information and Other Important Details

This natural disaster can produce devastating results, especially those with larger magnitude. One of them is soil liquefaction. When the ground shakes, the soil becomes weak. This can result in the sinking or tilting of rigid structures like bridges and buildings. Fires can also be a scary effect of the massive shaking of the ground. When gas lines and power lines are broken, fires can start instantly even without warning.

A strong shaking of the earth can also lead to avalanches and earthquakes. These unfortunate events are bound to happen because strong tremors can cause slope to become unstable. When these tremors hit the water, bad things are bound to happen as well. When the magnitude of the shaking reaches 7.5 on the Richter Scale, expect the seas to produce tsunamis. Furthermore, the strong shaking of the ground can eventually lead to ground rupture, which can destroy even the most durable structures on top of the ground like power stations, bridges and dams.

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