Interesting Facts about Earthquakes

Maya Pillai Jan 27, 2019
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Read this post to gain more information regarding some amazing facts about the type of natural disasters called earthquakes.
One of the most powerful and destructive forces of nature is an earthquake. When there is a sudden release of energy within the Earth's crust, seismic waves are created, resulting in an earthquake. Its intensity is measured using a Richter scale, and it is recorded on a seismometer.

Little-known Facts

➤ In 350 BC, Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, discovered that the soft ground shakes more than a hard and rocky ground, when earthquakes occur.

➤ In America, the European settlers experienced an earthquake in the mid 17th century. However, the Spanish explorers made the earliest report of an earthquake in 1769, which occurred 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
➤ In 1556, January 23, an earthquake occurred in Shansi, China killing approximately 830,000 people. This disaster is considered as the deadliest in the history of mankind.

➤ In 1751, primitive seismographs were first built; the reason for the occurrences of an earthquake was determined only in 1855.
➤ There were 46 major earthquakes around the globe from 1900-1949, i.e., in a year the average is 1.08. However, between 1950 and 1999, an average of 1.64 earthquakes had occurred worldwide, i.e., about 82 earthquakes.
➤ Between 2000 and 2004, 10 major earthquakes have been reported at an average of 2.5 earthquakes per year. The magnitude and the frequency of such disasters is increasing every year.
➤ Reports show that several million detectable earthquakes occur around the globe. However, the tremors of only 20% of the earthquakes could be felt, as they are of low intensity.
➤ On May 22, 1960 an earthquake of magnitude 9.5 struck Southern Chile. This is the largest earthquake ever recorded. It killed thousands of people and around two million were left homeless. The intensity of this earthquake caused a tsunami that reached as far as Japan killing around 140 people.
➤ Southern California witnesses an average of 10,000 earthquakes in a year. However, majority of these are minor tremors that go unnoticed. Only 15 to 20 earthquakes are greater than magnitude 4.0.
➤ The San Andreas fault zone is more than 800 miles and up to 10 miles deep. An earthquake can occur along one of the faults at any time.
➤ On an average, one devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 or above occurs once a year. More than a million small tremors strike our planet's surface every year.
➤ San Francisco Bay area is susceptible to such disasters. The middle portion of the Bay Bridge collapsed in the 1989 earthquake of Loma Prieta.
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