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Earthquake Amazing Facts

60 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Earthquakes | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Earthquakes kill approximately 8,000 people each year and have caused an estimated 13 million deaths in the past 4,000 years.
  2. In Hindu mythology, Earth is held in place by eight gigantic elephants, all balanced on the back of turtle, which itself stands on the coils of a snake. If any of these animals shift or move, an earthquake occurs.
  3. In ancient Greece, people believed that the god of the sea, Poseidon, caused earthquakes. When he was angry, Poseidon would strike the ground with his trident and set off an earthquake. Aristotle was the first to note that soft ground shakes more than hard ground.
  4. The earliest recorded earthquake is from 1831 B.C. in the Shandong province in China.
  5. An earthquake in A.D. 1201 in the eastern Mediterranean is labeled the worst earthquake in history and claimed an estimated one million lives.
  6. Nearly 2,000 years ago, a Chinese astronomer named Zhang Heng (A.D. 78-139) invented the world’s first earthquake detector. It could detect earthquakes more than 370 miles (600 km) away.
  7. The worst avalanche triggered by an earthquake occurred in Peru in 1070. A 250-foot (850-meter) wave of ice, mud, and rock fell down the mountain in Huascaran at 250 miles (400 km) per hour. It carried away entire villages and killed more than 18,000 people.
  8. The biggest earthquake ever felt in Britain was in 1580. It caused a tsunami that sank around 150 ships and drowned 120 people in Dover.
  9. The highest tsunami caused by an earthquake happened in Japan in 1771. A tsunami 278 feet (85 meters) high struck Ishigaki Island.
  10. Englishman John Milne invented the seismograph in 1880.
  11. The 1906 earthquake in California was before the Richter scale, but scientists estimate it would rank as a 7.8. As much as 90% of the damage in San Francisco was from fires caused by cracked gas pipes. San Francisco burned for three days and nights.
  12. The 1906 California earthquake was one of the first major disasters to be recorded by photography.
  13. The world’s worst landslide started by an earthquake occurred in 1920 in the Kansu province in China. The landslide killed about 200,000 people.
  14. American scientist Charles Richter invented the Richter scale in 1935.
  15. The Chilean quake of 1960 shook the entire Earth for many days, a phenomenon called oscillation that was measured by seismic stations around the planet. It had a magnitude of 9.5 and is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
  16. The 1964 Alaska 9.2 quake lasted four minutes and dropped streets 20 feet (6 meters) below normal. It caused flooding on the coast of Hawaii, more than 3,100 miles away.
  17. You may not notice a magnitude 2 quake. You would feel the ground shake in a magnitude 3 quake. A magnitude 7 or higher can destroy a city.
  18. Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone nations in the world. Thousands of earthquakes occur in Japan every year, but most of them are very weak.
  19. Though the ground moved for only about 20 seconds during the 1995 Kobe, Japan, earthquake, more than 5,000 people were killed, 300,000 people were left homeless, and more than 100,000 buildings were destroyed.
  20. An average earthquake lasts around a minute. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake lasted nearly 10 minutes, the longest on record.
  21. The Indian Ocean earthquake on December 26, 2004 triggered a series of tsunamis. These tsunamis hit 11 countries and 225,000 lives were lost that year. Tsunami waves as high as 100 feet tall several coastlines.
  22. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake released enough energy to power all the homes and business in the United States for three days.
  23. An earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 with a magnitude of 7.0 killed over 200000 people.
  24. The 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan March 11, 2011 was the worst earthquake in Japan’s history. It created a tsunami with waves as high as 30 feet (10 meters) and severely damaged nuclear power plants. It killed 15000 people.
  25. Japan’s 9.0 earthquake in 2011 not only moved the island closer to the United States, it also shifted the planet’s axis by 6.5 inches.
  26. Japan’s 9.0 earthquake in 2011 also created a massive 186-mile long and 93-mile-wide rift 15 miles under the ocean.
  27. There are about 500,000 earthquakes a year around the world, as detected by sensitive instruments. About 100,000 of those can be felt, and 100 or so cause damage each year.
  28. An earthquake happens somewhere in the world once every thirty seconds.
  29. Each year the southern California area alone experiences about 10,000 earthquakes, most of them not felt by people.
  30. Approximately one earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 or higher occurs every year.
  31. Earthquakes can set off volcanoes, as was the case in the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and the Mount Etna eruption in 2002.
  32. The moment magnitude scale (MMS) replaced the 1930s-era Richter scale in the 1970s as the method of measuring the size of earthquakes in terms of energy released.
  33. A quake is considered major when it registers more than 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale.
  34. The Indian Ocean earthquake in 2004 generated enough energy to power all the homes and businesses in the United States for three days.
  35. The largest earthquake in recent history was a 9.5 and occurred in Chile in 1960. It caused giant ocean waves as far as 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away.
  36. The largest earthquake in the U.S. on record was a 9.2 quake that occurred in Alaska in 1964.
  37. The speed of the fastest seismic wave is 225 miles (360 kilometers) per hour.
  38. Aftershocks can occur years after a main earthquake because the displaced fault line and crust are adjusting to the effects of the main earthquake.
  39. Parkfield, California, is known as “The Earthquake Capital of the World” and has a bridge that spans two tectonic plates.
  40. Earthquakes are mostly caused by geological faults, but they can also be caused by landslides, nuclear testing, mine tests, and volcanic activity.
  41. The “focus” or “hypocenter” is the earthquake’s initial point of rupture. Its “epicenter” is the point at ground level above the hypocenter.
  42. Scientists developed the theory of plate tectonics in the mid-twentieth century. There are four types of faults: normal, reverse, thrust, and strike-up.
  43. Even a small plate movement can trigger major earthquakes.Tectonic plates move less than 3 inches(8 cm) per year. However, a tectonic plate movement of just 8 Inches (20 cm) is enough to set off a major earthquake.
  44. Earthquakes occur only in the Earth’s crust. Deep earthquakes originate in crust that is sliding down beneath another tectonic plate.
  45. The most devastating earthquakes are those that are strong and shallow with the focus point less than 20 miles (32 km) underground.
  46. Nearly 80% of Earth’s largest earthquakes occur near the “Ring of Fire,” which is a horseshoe-shaped region in the Pacific Ocean where many tectonic plates meet.
  47. “Ring of fire” circles the Pacific Ocean, touching the coasts North and South America, Japan, China and Russia.
  48. The second-most earthquake-prone area is a region called the Alpide Belt, which includes countries such as Turkey, India, and Pakistan.
  49. Many animals may sense weak tremors before a quake. Other scientists think that animals may sense electrical signals set off by the shifting of underground rocks.
  50. An earthquake can release hundreds times more energy than the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan in 1945.
  51. An earthquake under the ocean can cause a tsunami, which travels outward in all directions up to 600 miles (970 km) per hour, the speed of a jet.
  52. When the tsunami reaches the shoreline, it suddenly rolls up to massive heights causing massive destruction.
  53. The San Andreas fault extends at least 20 miles vertically into the Earth.
  54. The San Andreas Fault is moving about 2 inches a year, about the same rate fingernails grow. At this rate, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be next to each other in 15 million years.
  55. The most earthquake-prone state is Alaska in USA.
  56. An earthquake on Dec. 16, 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards.
  57. The San Andres is one of the longest fault zones in the world. It is a strike-slip fault and runs over 800 miles (1,280 km) from San Francisco through southern California to Mexico. The San Andres fault is not just one fault but it is actually made up of many faults.
  58. Steel, reinforced concrete and wood are good building materials for an earthquake resistant house because they flex somewhat without breaking. Family homes built completely out of brick are not as safe because they can break apart easily.
  59. The five strongest earthquakes since 1900 A.D. are  Chile 1960 (9.5) ,  Alaska 1964 (9.2), Indonesia 2004 (9.1), Japan 2011 (9.0) & Russia 1952 (9.0).
  60. The two deadliest earthquakes in history are Syria in 1201 A.D. which claimed 11,00,000 deaths & China in 1556 which claimed 8,30,000 lives.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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