Most Unpredictable Calamity

The hearts tremble with fear when the words like mayhem, tragedy, destruction and devastation are heard by; all are the feelings which are experienced when the word earthquake is heard. The earthquakes that occur without warning that causes billions and billions of financial destruction and numerous deaths with permanent and partial injuries leading to disabilities, famine, diseases and intangible destruction. Earthquakes are therefore one of the most unpredictable occurrences which Mother Nature offers to humanity. You may have asked yourself how do earthquakes occur? Well read on and find out...

Earthquake -The Mystery Within

So why does an earthquake occur? Here is the explanation

Earth is covered by a crust of solid rock, which is broken into numerous plates that move around the surface dwelling, overrunning and pulling away from each other. The boundary between the rock within the plates and the edges of the plates is known as a fault. Faults can therefore be termed as large scale breaks in earth's crust in which rocks on one side of the fault has been moved relative to the rock on the other side of the fault by tectonic forces, which thus make the earthquake center.

The Earthquake Phenomenon



A sudden slip in the earth's crust, due to the tectonic forces shakes the earth, causing massive destruction to the people and the buildings. These areas in the earth's crust are known as faults. Hence when the earth faults, the ground bends to a certain limit till the point of breaking. Finally the resultant vibrations are further transmitted to the earth's surface causing the eventual destruction.

The vibrations generated during the said coarse of actions can be categorized as the P-waves and the S-waves. P-waves can be referred to as the primary waves which are followed by the transverse waves or S waves. The earth quakes can last for short or longer periods of time and are sometimes followed by tiny earth quakes that last for a few second after the larger earthquake. These tiny earthquakes are known as aftershocks.

Richter Magnitude scale

Richter magnitude scales were devised in 1935 in California institute of technology to determine the magnitudes of the earthquakes. The magnitude of the earthquake is thus determined from the logarithm of amplitude of waves recorded through seismographs. The scale ranges from number zero to ten. Mediocre earthquake range from 0 to 4.6 on Richter magnitude scales while any number over 6 would be considered a highly disastrous earthquake. It is however very interesting to know that earthquake of rating less than two are considered small scale  earth quakes. These earth quakes are even not felt by the people and no damage is done.

These minor earthquakes are likely to occur thousand times a day but the one with a seismic reading higher than 8 is likely to occur once on average in the world each year. It is very pertinent to mention here that if an earthquake gets a reading between 6 and 7, it is the same if 100,000 ton dynamite is blown up.

This is how earthquakes occur. 



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