Earthquakes - Shaking the Ground

Researched, Produced, and Edited by : Matthew Bunn

The Earthquake

Being one of the most powerful, destructive, and costly natural disasters, earthquakes are a major concern to just about everywhere. The quakes are created by shifts in the crust of the earth. When the stress on a tectonic plate becomes too great, the plate slips shaking the ground, causing catastrophic damage. When a slip takes place the result is a shock, traveling outwards from the epicenter (place of origin) up to miles away. This shock shakes the ground and causes major damage to buildings, and other structures. The shock can damage structures, that can fall and hurt/ kill humans. The shaking can also create cracks in the ground as seen below. The power of an earthquake is determined on the Richter scale. This scale takes the amount of energy released, and scales it to a ranking of 0-10 10 being the most energy released. The scale is calculated by the seismograph.
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How to Protect Yourself

Some of the major earthquakes around the world resulted in thousands of deaths. For example the January 12th, 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed 316,000 people and left thousands of others homeless. Or the October 8th, 1948 earthquake in the USSR that killed 110,000 people. There are ways to protect yourself from these natural disasters though. One thing you can do is have a kit of supplies ready in case something happens. This should include a flashlight, first aid, food, and water for everyone in your family. Another thing to do to prepare is to have a place to go. The best place to go in an earthquake is outside in an open field away from anything that could fall on you. Finally make sure to stay in touch with a radio station or TV so you know what areas are most affected and what to do.