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Earthquake – Definition, Causes, Effects, Protection

Last Updated : 22 Nov, 2022
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Earthquake is a natural phenomenon that manifests itself as a sudden shaking or trembling of the earth that lasts just a few seconds. It occurs as a result of disruption deep within the earth’s crust or as a result of disturbances within the earth’s crust. Earthquakes often occur deep inside the earth, but they are not visible from the surface. Major earthquakes can occur on the earth’s surface at any moment, and they can be devastating.

Causes of Earthquakes

The crust, mantle, inner core, and outer core are the four layers that make up the Earth’s surface. The Earth’s outermost layer is divided into many plates. These plates are constantly shifting. Disturbances in the earth’s crust are created when they pass each other or collide. Earthquakes or tremors are the terms for these types of disturbances.

Or in other words, deep below, near tectonic plate margins, earthquakes occur. The earth’s mantle, or outermost layer, is made up of tectonic plates. They are always rotating and the world under them is like a fluid. However, each plate is fairly well aligned with the plates surrounding it. When they pass, they build friction and pressure as they slide by and collide.

Some other causes of Earthquake are as follows: 

  • Eruptions of volcanoes,
  • When an asteroid collides with the Earth’s atmosphere, 
  • Under the Earth’s crust, there was a nuclear blast and
  • Tunnel construction, filling reservoirs and deep Mining leads to earthquakes.

Before and After Earthquake

Effects of an Earthquake

Land shaking, surface faulting, ground collapse, and, less frequently, tsunamis are all consequences of earthquakes.

Earthquakes can lead to:

  • Death of humans and animals
  • Buildings, lakes, and bridges have all been destroyed.
  • Landslides and Floods, Tsunamis

Protection Against Earthquake

Earthquakes are unpredictable. To cover yourself in the event of an earthquake, take the following precautions:

Earthquake Safety Precautions 

  • Buildings in earthquake areas should be designed in such a way that they can withstand large tremors.
  • Before constructing a new structure, people should always consult architects and engineers.
  • The building’s roofs should be kept bright.
  • Strong materials should not be used in the construction of buildings; instead, timber or mud should be used.
  • Photo frames, geysers, clocks, and other wall hangings should be put in a location where they would not cause damage to someone if they fall off.
  • Since earthquakes can cause fires, buildings should be equipped with firefighting equipment.

If you’re staying at home

  • Hide under a table until the disturbances return to normal.
  • Avoid standing or sitting around tall or heavy things.
  • If you’re in bed, don’t get out of it. Use a pillow to cushion your back.

If you’re going to be outside

  • Dropdown away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
  • If you’re in a car or a bus, drive slowly to a safe location and stay inside until the earthquake ends.

Things to do Before the earthquake : 

  • Follow and campaign for the improvement of poorly constructed buildings.
  • Make an emergency plan and prepare for it.
  • Locate medical facilities, fire stations, and police stations in your city.
  • Know where to turn off the electricity and water in your home.

Things to do After the earthquake : 

  • Store drinking water, food, and first-aid supplies in an inaccessible location.
  • Rumors should not be shared or believed.
  • To get the most up-to-date information/bulletins and aftershock alerts, switch on your transistor or television.
  • Attend to the wounded and provide whatever assistance is necessary, as well as informing the hospital.
  • Be ready for aftershocks, which can occur.
  • If your kitchen gas stove is turned on, turn it off. If it’s locked, don’t open it. Use caution when working with open flames.
  • If gas leaks are suspected, do not operate electrical switches or appliances.

Examples of things to do During the earthquake : 

  • Remain composed and reassuring to everyone.
  • The best place to be sit in the open before the sensations vanish.
  • If you’re in a moving car, come to a complete stop as soon as possible and remain in it.
  • Allow all pets and domestic animals to run around outside.
  • Candles, matches, and other open fires should not be used.
  • If you’re inside, seek shelter under a desk, table, bed, or doorway, as well as against interior walls and a stairwell. Avoid glass doors, glass panes, mirrors, and exterior doors.

Sample Problems

Problem 1: What are the measures we should adapt to protect against an earthquake?

Solution:

1) We must remain in an open area free of houses, plants, and overhead power lines. We should lie on the ground as well. 

2) We can not get out of a car (or a bus) while we are in it. Slowly push the car (or bus) to a clear spot away from houses, trees, and overhead electric wires.

Problem 2: What precautions should we take to protect ourselves from earthquakes?

Solution:

To protect yourself in the event of an earthquake, take the following precautions:

  • Buildings in earthquake areas should be designed in such a way that they can withstand large tremors.
  • Before constructing a new structure, people should always consult architects and engineers.
  • The building’s roofs should be kept bright.
  • Strong materials should not be used in the construction of buildings; instead, timber or mud should be used.
  • Photo frames, geysers, clocks, and other wall hangings should be put in a location where they would not cause damage to someone if they fall off.
  • Since earthquakes can cause fires, buildings should be equipped with firefighting equipment.

Problem 3: What do you do during an earthquake if one is in bed?

Solution:

If you’re in bed, don’t get out of it. Use a pillow to cushion your back.

Problem 4: How does an earthquake start?

Solution:

Earthquake is a natural phenomenon that manifests itself as a sudden shaking or trembling of the earth that lasts just a few seconds.

Problem 5: What are the main causes of earthquakes?

Solution:

Earthquakes often occur deep inside the earth, but they are not visible from the surface. Major earthquakes can occur on the earth’s surface at any moment, and they can be devastating. The crust, mantle, inner core, and outer core are the four layers that make up the Earth’s surface. The Earth’s outermost layer is divided into many plates. These plates are constantly shifting. Disturbances in the earth’s crust are created when they pass each other or collide. Earthquakes or tremors are the terms for these types of disturbances.

Problem 6: What are the deadliest Earthquakes since 1950?

Solution:

The six deadliest Earthquakes since 1950 :

  • The Kashmir Earthquake (Pakistani-administered Kashmir) on October 8, 2005.
  • The Sichuan Earthquake (Sichuan province, China) on May 12, 2008.
  • The Great Peruvian Earthquake (western Peru) on May 31, 1970.
  • The Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami (Indian Ocean basin) on December 26, 2004.
  • The Great Tangshan Earthquake (northwestern China) on July 28, 1976.
  • The Haiti Earthquake (Hispaniola) on January 12, 2010.

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