An earthquake is the shaking of the earth’s surface caused by rapid movement of the earth’s crust or outer layer which is made up of tectonic plates. These plates are in continuous motion which results in stresses and ruptures that release energy in the form of seismic waves. The destruction that an earthquake causes depends on its magnitude and duration. Earthquake is one of the most catastrophic natural disasters and can trigger other disasters such as floods, tsunamis, landslides and avalanches. Massive loss of life and infrastructure occurs due to the collapse of buildings, and damage to roads, bridges, canals and power supplies.
AFP News Agency: How earthquakes happen
An short illustrated film from AFP News Agency explains the causes of earthquakes.
Himal Southasia – Natural Event, Manmade Disaster
This short documentary ‘Natural Event, Manmade Disaster’, examines the aftermath of the earthquake nine months after it devastated Nepal. Contributors Kunda Dixit and Kai Weise discuss reconstruction efforts and the current state of preparedness.
Solmaz Mohadjer: How to Disarm Earthquakes
As a child Solmaz Mohadjer wore shoes in bed to be ready for a quick escape from earthquakes. Now as a geoscientist, she chases earthquakes and rockfalls with high precision measuring instruments. Together with her team, she works to detect and measure subtle movements and changes in Earth’s surface and their implications for earthquake and rockfall hazards. Inspired by school children in mountain communities of central Asia, she started the initiative ParsQuake to bridge the information gap between scientists and the public in regions of high geohazards risk exposure.
Now explore some written sources.
You might follow some of the links below or identify your own sources to extend your learning and help you to complete your worksheet:
- The Science of Earthquakes
- Earthquake safety tips
- The World’s Major Earthquake Zones
- California’s 7.1 earthquake–and how earthquakes work
- The Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan, 1923
- The Tokai Earthquake
- The Sumatra Earthquake of December 26, 2004
- How Are Earthquake Magnitudes Measured?
- Latest earthquakes around the world