Interesting Facts About Earthquakes

The deadliest earthquake ever recorded occured on January 23, 1556, in Shensi (Shaanxi).
More than 830000 people died in this earthquake. In 1976 another deadly earthquake struck in Tangshan, China, where more than 250,000 people were killed.

The largest recorded earthquake in the United States was a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska on Good Friday, March 28, 1964 UTC.

The largest recorded earthquake in the world was a magnitude 9.5 (Mw) in Chile on May 22, 1960.
More than 2,000 people died and 2 million were left homeless. It also caused tsunami as far away as Japan where they killed 138 people.

The earliest reported earthquake in California was felt in 1769 by the exploring expedition of Gaspar de Portola while the group was camping about 48 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Los Angeles.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center of USA, about 12000 to 14000 earthquakes occur yearly in the United States. That averages about 35 earthquakes per day.

According to the USGS, an earthquake occurs when plates grind and scrape against each other.

Statistics show that great earthquakes with magnitude 8 or more occur once a year on the average, while minor earthquakes with magnitude 1 to 3 occur 9000 times per day.

Before electronics allowed recordings of large earthquakes, scientists built large spring-pendulum seismometers in an attempt to record the long-period motion produced by such quakes. The largest one weighed about 15 tons. There is a medium-sized one three stories high in Mexico City that is still in operation.

The East African Rift System is a 50-60 km (31-37 miles) wide zone of active volcanics and faulting that extends north-south in eastern Africa for more than 3000 km (1864 miles) from Ethiopia in the north to Zambezi in the south. It is a rare example of an active continental rift zone, where a continental plate is attempting to split into two plates which are moving away from one another.

The first "pendulum seismoscope" to measure the shaking of the ground during an earthquake was developed in 1751, and it wasn't until 1855 that faults were recognized as the source of earthquakes.

Moonquakes ("earthquakes" on the moon) do occur, but they happen less frequently and have smaller magnitudes than earthquakes on the Earth. It appears they are related to the tidal stresses associated with the varying distance between the Earth and Moon. They also occur at great depth, about halfway between the surface and the center of the moon.

Although both are sea waves, a tsunami and a tidal wave are two different unrelated phenomenona. A tidal wave is a shallow water wave caused by the gravitational interactions between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. A tsunami is a sea wave caused by an underwater earthquake or landslide (usually triggered by an earthquake) displacing the ocean water.

The hypocenter of an earthquake is the location beneath the earth's surface where the rupture of the fault begins. The epicenter of an earthquake is the location directly above the hypocenter on the surface of the earth.

The greatest mountain range is the Mid-Ocean Ridge, extending 64,374 km (40,000 mi) from the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, around Africa, Asia, and Australia, and under the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of North America. It has a greatest height of 4207 m (13,800 ft) above the base ocean depth.

The world's greatest land mountain range is the Himalaya-Karakoram. It countains 96 of the world's 109 peaks of over 7317 m (24,000 ft). The longest range is the Andes of South America which is 7564 km (4700 mi) in length. Both were created bythe movement of tectonic plates.

It is thought that more damage was done by the resulting fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake than by the earthquake itself.

A seiche (pronounced SAYSH) is what happens in the swimming pools of Californians during and after an earthquake. It is "an internal wave oscillating in a body of water" or, in other words, it is the sloshing of the water in your swimming pool, or any body of water, caused by the ground shaking in an earthquake. It may continue for a few moments or hours, long after the generating force is gone. A seiche can also be caused by wind or tides.

The Wasatch Range, with its outstanding ski areas, runs North-South through Utah, and like all mountain ranges it was produced by a series of earthquakes. The 386 km (240-mile)-long Wasatch Fault is made up of several segments, each capable of producing up to a M7.5 earthquake. During the past 6000 years, there has been a M6.5+ about once every 350 years, and it has been 150 years since the last powerful earthquake.

There is no such thing as "earthquake weather". Statistically, there is an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather, etc. Furthermore, there is no physical way that the weather could affect the forces several miles beneath the surface of the earth. The changes in barometric pressure in the atmosphere are very small compared to the forces in the crust, and the effect of the barometric pressure does not reach beneath the soil.

The core of the earth was the first internal structural element to be identified. In 1906 R.D. Oldham discovered it from his studies of earthquake records. The inner core is solid, and the outer core is liquid and so does not transmit the shear wave energy released during an earthquake.

The swimming pool at the University of Arizona in Tucson lost water from sloshing (seiche) caused by the 1985 M8.1 Michoacan, Mexico earthquake 2000 km (1240 miles) away.

Earthquakes occur in the central portion of the United States too! Some very powerful earthquakes occurred along the New Madrid fault in the Mississippi Valley in 1811-1812. The effects of shaking from these magnitude 8+ earthquakes caused church bells to ring in Boston, Massachusetts, nearly 1600 km (1000 miles) away.

Most earthquakes occur at depths of less than 80 km (50 miles) from the Earth's surface.

In 1960 when the Chilean earthquake occurred, seismographs recorded seismic waves that traveled all around the Earth. These seismic waves shook the entire earth for many days! This phenomenon is called the free oscillation of the Earth.

The San Andreas fault is NOT a single, continuous fault, but rather is actually a fault zone made up of many segments. Movement may occur along any of the many fault segments along the zone at any time. The San Andreas fault system is more that 1300 km (800 miles) long, and in some spots is as much as 16 km (10 miles) deep.

North Dakota and Florida have the smallest number of earthquakes than any other state in the United States.

The deepest earthquakes typically occur at plate boundaries where the Earth's crust is being subducted into the Earth's mantle. These occur as deep as 750 km (400 miles) below the surface.

Alaska is the most earthquake-prone state and one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Alaska experiences a magnitude 7 earthquake almost every year, and a magnitude 8 or greater earthquake on average every 14 years.

The majority of the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur along plate boundaries such as the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American plate. One of the most active plate boundaries where earthquakes and eruptions are frequent, for example, is around the massive Pacific Plate commonly referred to as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The earliest recorded evidence of an earthquake has been traced back to 1831 BC in the Shandong province of China, but there is a fairly complete record starting in 780 BC during the Zhou Dynasty in China.

Greek scientist Aristotle noticed that soft ground shakes more than hard rock in an earthquake.
He gave this theory as early as 350 BC.

The cause of earthquakes was stated correctly in 1760 by British engineer John Michell, one of the first fathers of seismology, in a memoir where he wrote that earthquakes and the waves of energy that they make are caused by "shifting masses of rock miles below the surface".

In 1663 the European settlers experienced their first earthquake in USA.

Human beings can detect sounds in the frequency range 20-10,000 Hertz. If a P wave refracts out of the rock surface into the air, and it has a frequency in the audible range, it will be heard as a rumble. Most earthquake waves have a frequency of less than 20 Hz, so the waves themselves are usually not heard. Most of the rumbling noise heard during an earthquake is the building and its contents moving.

Antarctica has icequakes in its interior, although they are much smaller, but are perhaps more frequent than earthquakes in Antarctica. The icequakes are similar to earthquakes, but occur within the ice sheet itself instead of the land underneath the ice. Some of our polar observers have told us they can hear the icequakes and see them on the South Pole seismograph station, but they are much too small to be seen on enough stations to obtain an exact location.

The San Andreas Fault was named in 1895 by geologist A.C. Lawson. He named it after the San Andreas Lake, a sag pond through which the fault passes about 20 miles south of San Francisco. He likely did not realize at the time that the fault ran almost the entire length of California.

Facts about Pakistan Earthquake 2005

On the morning of October 8, 2005, an earthquake struck Pakistan at 8:50 AM local time with a magnitude of 7.6.

The earthquake lasted two minutes killing 100,000 people.

On November 19, 2005 it was estimated that the international community as a whole pledged about 5.8 billion USD, but as a matter of fact about more than half of this amount was given as a loan and not as an aid. Then the corrupt Pakistani government made it sure that the aid could not reach the affected people and now as more than eighteen months have passed to this incident those people who somehow survived the earthquake but lost their homes in it are still suffering and are living in tents under critical whether conditions as they dont have any other option.

Survivors of the Oct 2005 earthquake in Balakot are facing extreme hardships due to the freezing temperature in the area. They are living through the hardest days and looking for a miracle to end their miseries, said journalist Shahjehan Khan, who still lives in a damaged tent in the town.

The number of patients has increased due to the inclement weather conditions.

There is one hospital in the town constructed by a local cellular company Paktel, but the patients remain unattended due to the absence of doctors and paramedical staff.


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