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Global earthquake epicenters, 1963–1998

Global plate tectonic movement An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. Earthquakes are measured using observations from seismometers. The moment magnitude is the most common scale on which earthquakes larger than approximately 5 are reported for the entire globe. The more numerous earthquakes smaller than magnitude 5 reported by national seismological observatories are measured mostly on the local magnitude scale, also referred to as the Richter scale. These two scales are numerically similar over their range of validity. Magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes are mostly almost imperceptible and magnitude 7 and over potentially cause serious damage over large areas, depending on their depth. The largest earthquakes in historic times have been of magnitude slightly over 9, although there is no limit to the possible magnitude. The most recent large earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or larger was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan in 2011 (as of March 2011), and it was the largest Japanese earthquake since records began. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale. The shallower an earthquake, the more damage to structures it causes, all else being equal.[1]

Once the fault has locked. The sides of a fault move past each other smoothly and aseismically only if there are no irregularities or asperities along the fault surface that increase the frictional resistance. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore. earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. o Naturally occurring earthquakes Fault types Tectonic earthquakes occur anywhere in the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane. This energy is released as a combination of radiated elastic strain seismic waves. continued relative motion between the plates leads to increasing stress and therefore. landslides. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. suddenly allowing sliding over the locked portion of the fault. frictional heating of . Earthquakes can also trigger landslides.At the Earth's surface. releasing the stored energy. mine blasts. Most fault surfaces do have such asperities and this leads to a form of stick-slip behaviour. and occasionally volcanic activity. the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event — whether natural or caused by humans — that generates seismic waves. stored strain energy in the volume around the fault surface. but also by other events such as volcanic activity. This continues until the stress has risen sufficiently to break through the asperity. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults. the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter. In its most general sense. and nuclear tests.

Reverse faults.[2] Earthquake fault types Main article: Fault (geology) There are three main types of fault that may cause an earthquake: normal. Along converging plate margins. and the cool slabs of the tectonic plates that are descending down into the hot mantel. the dip angle of the rupture plane is very shallow. including almost all of those of magnitude 8 or more. Many earthquakes are caused by movement on faults that have components of both dip-slip and strike-slip. Normal and reverse faulting are examples of dip-slip. Rocks hotter than about 300 degrees Celsius flow in response to stress. It is estimated that only 10 percent or less of an earthquake's total energy is radiated as seismic energy. Normal faults occur mainly in areas where the crust is being extended such as a divergent boundary.the fault surface. like the San Andreas Fault (1857. The topmost. this is known as oblique slip. Strike-slip faults are steep structures where the two sides of the fault slip horizontally past each other. the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey (1939) and the Denali Fault in Alaska (2002). Most of the earthquake's energy is used to power the earthquake fracture growth or is converted into heat generated by friction. where the displacement along the fault is in the direction of dip and movement on them involves a vertical component. 1957. Earthquakes associated with normal faults are generally less than magnitude 7. which may break in one go are approximately 1000 km. transform boundaries are a particular type of strike-slip fault. are the only parts of our planet which can store elastic energy and release it in fault ruptures. Alaska.[4][5] The maximum observed lengths of ruptures and mapped faults. Therefore. is proportional to the area of the fault that ruptures[3] and the stress drop. but the available width because the latter varies by a factor of 20. The most important parameter controlling the maximum earthquake magnitude on a fault is however not the maximum available length. and those along normal faults are even shorter. brittle part of the Earth’s crust. the longer the length and the wider the width of the faulted area. Thus the width of the plane within the top brittle crust of the . Therefore. Strike-slip faults. and thus its magnitude. The longest earthquake ruptures on strikeslip faults. typically about 10 degrees [1]. reverse (thrust) and strike-slip. particularly continental transforms can produce major earthquakes up to about magnitude 8. 2004. This process of gradual build-up of strain and stress punctuated by occasional sudden earthquake failure is referred to as the elastic-rebound theory. This is so because the energy released in an earthquake. earthquakes lower the Earth's available elastic potential energy and raise its temperature. Examples are the earthquakes in Chile. they do not rupture in earthquakes. are about half to one third as long as the lengths along subducting plate margins. thus causing an earthquake. 1960. Sumatra. particularly those along convergent plate boundaries are associated with the most powerful earthquakes. the larger the resulting magnitude. all in subduction zones. 1906). Reverse faults occur in areas where the crust is being shortened such as at a convergent boundary. and cracking of the rock. though these changes are negligible compared to the conductive and convective flow of heat out from the Earth's deep interior.

Strike-slip faults tend to be oriented near vertically. as in Iceland. strike slip by intermediate.[7] This can easily be understood by considering the direction of the greatest principal stress. These stresses may be sufficient to cause failure along existing fault planes. regardless of fault dimensions. and normal faults by the lowest stress levels. resulting in an approximate width of 10 km within the brittle crust [2]. there exists a hierarchy of stress level in the three fault types. 1964). the “Big bend” region). This is demonstrated by earthquake focal mechanisms. This difference in stress regime in the three faulting environments can contribute to differences in stress drop during faulting. namely upward. which contributes to differences in the radiated energy.[6][3] In addition. deformation is spread out over a much larger area than the plate boundary itself. Thrust faults are generated by the highest. Strike-slip faulting is intermediate between the other two types described above. giving rise to intraplate earthquakes. the rock mass is pushed down in a vertical direction. 2011. Maximum magnitudes along many normal faults are even more limited because many of them are located along spreading centers. In the case of the San Andreas fault continental transform. making the most powerful earthquakes possible. where the thickness of the brittle layer is only about 6 km. thus the overburden equals the least principal stress. Another example is the strongly oblique convergent plate boundary between the Arabian and Eurasian plates where it runs through the northwestern part of the Zagros mountains. Alaska.[8] All tectonic plates have internal stress fields caused by their interactions with neighbouring plates and sedimentary loading or unloading (e.Earth can become 50 to 100 km (Tohoku. the direction of the force that ‘pushes’ the rock mass during the faulting. many earthquakes occur away from the plate boundary and are related to strains developed within the broader zone of deformation caused by major irregularities in the fault trace (e. lifting the rock mass up.g.[10] Shallow-focus and deep-focus earthquakes Main article: Depth of focus (tectonics) . In the case of thrusting. thus earthquakes with magnitudes much larger than 8 are not possible. deglaciation[9]). thus the pushing force (greatest principal stress) equals the weight of the rock mass itself. The deformation associated with this plate boundary is partitioned into nearly pure thrust sense movements perpendicular to the boundary over a wide zone to the southwest and nearly pure strike-slip motion along the Main Recent Fault close to the actual plate boundary itself. The Northridge earthquake was associated with movement on a blind thrust within such a zone.g. Earthquakes away from plate boundaries Main article: Intraplate earthquake Where plate boundaries occur within continental lithosphere. the rock mass ‘escapes’ in the direction of the least principal stress. In the case of normal faults..

while those with a focal-depth between 70 and 300 km are commonly termed 'midfocus' or 'intermediate-depth' earthquakes. deep-focus earthquakes may occur at much greater depths (ranging from 300 up to 700 kilometers). The mechanics of this process are poorly understood. where older and colder oceanic crust descends beneath another tectonic plate. due to the high temperature and pressure. such as a slow component revealed by low-frequency spectra of some earthquakes. Earthquake ruptures typically propagate at velocities that are in the range 70– 90 % of the S-wave velocity and this is independent of earthquake size. Deep-focus earthquakes occur at a depth where the subducted lithosphere should no longer be brittle. Also the effects of strong ground motion make it very difficult to record information close to a nucleation zone.[13] Earthquake swarms can serve as markers for the location of the flowing magma throughout the volcanoes. Earthquakes occurring at a depth of less than 70 km are classified as 'shallow-focus' earthquakes. both by tectonic faults and the movement of magma in volcanoes.[12] Earthquakes and volcanic activity Earthquakes often occur in volcanic regions and are caused there. The unusually wide zone of coseismic damage caused by the 2001 Kunlun earthquake has been attributed to the effects of the sonic boom developed in such earthquakes. with some evidence. The rupture velocity is a function of the fracture energy in the volume around the crack tip. . likening the rupture to a propagating mixed mode shear crack.[14] Rupture dynamics A tectonic earthquake begins by an initial rupture at a point on the fault surface. The possibility that the nucleation involves some sort of preparation process is supported by the observation that about 40% of earthquakes are preceded by foreshocks. These swarms can be recorded by seismometers and tiltmeters (a device that measures ground slope) and used as sensors to predict imminent or upcoming eruptions. observed where the relatively low felt intensities. such as the rupture dimensions of the smallest earthquakes.[11] These seismically active areas of subduction are known as Wadati-Benioff zones. Helens eruption of 1980. A possible mechanism for the generation of deep-focus earthquakes is faulting caused by olivine undergoing a phase transition into a spinel structure. partly because it is difficult to recreate the high sliding velocities in a laboratory. Some earthquake ruptures travel at unusually low velocities and are referred to as slow earthquakes. as during the Mount St. These supershear earthquakes have all been observed during large strike-slip events. suggest that it is larger. increasing with decreasing fracture energy. a process known as nucleation. The velocity of rupture propagation is orders of magnitude faster than the displacement velocity across the fault. A small subset of earthquake ruptures appear to have propagated at speeds greater than the S-wave velocity. In subduction zones. The scale of the nucleation zone is uncertain. A particularly dangerous form of slow earthquake is the tsunami earthquake. suggesting that it is smaller than 100 m while other evidence.The majority of tectonic earthquakes originate at the ring of fire in depths not exceeding tens of kilometers. Once the rupture has initiated it begins to propagate along the fault surface.[15] Rupture propagation is generally modelled using a fracture mechanics approach. Such earthquakes can serve as an early warning of volcanic eruptions.

[17] Aftershocks Main article: Aftershock An aftershock is an earthquake that occurs after a previous earthquake. and with some of the later earthquakes as damaging as the early ones.caused by the slow propagation speed of some great earthquakes. Aftershocks are formed as the crust around the displaced fault plane adjusts to the effects of the main shock. therefore none have notable higher magnitudes than the other. but there is a theory that earthquakes can recur in a regular pattern.[18] Earthquake storms Main article: Earthquake storm Sometimes a series of earthquakes occur in a sort of earthquake storm.[16] Most earthquake clusters consist of small tremors that cause little to no damage.000 earthquakes occur each year.[21][22] Minor earthquakes occur nearly constantly around the world in places like California and Alaska in the U. related to each other in terms of location and time. An aftershock is in the same region of the main shock but always of a smaller magnitude.. these storms occur over the course of years. each triggered by the shaking or stress redistribution of the previous earthquakes.S.[15] Earthquake clusters Most earthquakes form part of a sequence. the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock. the mainshock. An example of an earthquake swarm is the 2004 activity at Yellowstone National Park. as well as in . Such a pattern was observed in the sequence of about a dozen earthquakes that struck the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey in the 20th century and has been inferred for older anomalous clusters of large earthquakes in the Middle East. fail to alert the population of the neighbouring coast.[19][20] Size and frequency of occurrence It is estimated that around 500.[16] Earthquake swarms Main article: Earthquake swarm Earthquake swarms are sequences of earthquakes striking in a specific area within a short period of time. detectable with current instrumentation. Similar to aftershocks but on adjacent segments of fault. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock. About 100. They are different from earthquakes followed by a series of aftershocks by the fact that no single earthquake in the sequence is obviously the main shock.000 of these can be felt. where the earthquakes strike a fault in clusters. as in the 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake.

New Zealand.[25] The number of seismic stations has increased from about 350 in 1931 to many thousands today.[28] Most of the world's earthquakes (90%.0 or greater) per year.[23] Larger earthquakes occur less frequently. In the (low seismicity) United Kingdom. since 1900. such as along the Himalayan Mountains. London. but earthquakes can occur almost anywhere. though this is probably a statistical fluctuation rather than a systematic trend. the Azores in Portugal. known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. in areas of high seismic risk.Guatemala. for example.7–5. Iran. the relationship being exponential. roughly ten times as many earthquakes larger than magnitude 4 occur in a particular time period than earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.[29][30] Massive earthquakes tend to occur along other plate boundaries.7–4.000 lives on December 28.[26] In recent years.0–7.5 every 10 years. and that this average has been relatively stable. but this is because of the vast improvement in instrumentation. horseshoe-shaped zone called the circum-Pacific seismic belt. interspersed with longer periods of low-intensity. so it is too early to categorically state that this is the case.[24] This is an example of the Gutenberg-Richter law. it has been calculated that the average recurrences are: an earthquake of 3. More detailed statistics on the size and frequency of earthquakes is available from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). the number of major earthquakes per year has decreased. some scientists suggest that the recent increase in major earthquakes could be explained by a cyclical pattern of periods of intense tectonic activity. Greece. The Messina earthquake and tsunami took as many as 200. However. some seismologists are warning that a single quake may claim the lives of up to 3 million people. Italy.9) and one great earthquake (magnitude 8. which for the most part bounds the Pacific Plate. too. As a result.[31] With the rapid growth of mega-cities such as Mexico City. 1908 in Sicily and Calabria. many more earthquakes are reported than in the past. Turkey.[27] Alternatively.6 or larger every 100 years. accurate recordings of earthquakes only began in the early 1900s. and 81% of the largest) take place in the 40.000 km long. for example.6 every year. Peru. Pakistan. an earthquake of 4. and Japan. including New York City. and an earthquake of 5. Chile. there have been an average of 18 major earthquakes (magnitude 7. Indonesia. Tokyo and Tehran. and Australia.[32] Induced seismicity Main article: Induced seismicity . The United States Geological Survey estimates that. rather than an increase in the number of earthquakes.

[34] The greatest earthquake in Australia's history is also claimed to be induced by humanity. the kilometer distance to the earthquake is the number of seconds between the P and S wave times 8.[35] Measuring and locating earthquakes Main article: Seismology Earthquakes can be recorded by seismometers up to great distances.or pressure waves) Transverse S-waves (both body waves) Surface waves — (Rayleigh and Love waves) Propagation velocity of the seismic waves ranges from approx. which travel through rock with different velocities: • • • Longitudinal P-waves (shock. In solid rock P-waves travel at about 6 to 7 km per second. this pressure probably increased the power of the earthquake and accelerated the rate of movement for the fault. this tremor resulted in 69. The Zipingpu Dam is believed to have fluctuated the pressure of the fault 1. depending on the density and elasticity of the medium. 3 km/s up to 13 km/s. The velocity of S-waves ranges from 2–3 km/s in light sediments and 4– 5 km/s in the Earth's crust up to 7 km/s in the deep mantle. Four main activities contribute to this phenomenon: storing large amounts of water behind a dam (and possibly building an extremely heavy building).227 fatalities and is the 19th deadliest earthquake of all time. In the Earth's interior the shock. By such analyses of seismograms the Earth's core was located in 1913 by Beno Gutenberg. As a consequence.650 feet (503 m) away.[33] Perhaps the best known example is the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China's Sichuan Province in May. and by coal mining and oil drilling. The differences in travel time from the epicentre to the observatory are a measure of the distance and can be used to image both sources of quakes and structures within the Earth. The absolute magnitude of a quake is conventionally reported by numbers on the Moment magnitude scale (formerly Richter scale. whereas the felt magnitude is reported using the modified Mercalli intensity scale (intensity II–XII). The city of Newcastle was built over a large sector of coal mining areas. relation 1. Every tremor produces different types of seismic waves. Rule of thumb: On the average.7 : 1). drilling and injecting liquid into wells. the first waves of a distant earth quake arrive at an observatory via the Earth's mantle. because seismic waves travel through the whole Earth's interior. The earthquake has been reported to be spawned from a fault that reactivated due to the millions of tonnes of rock removed in the mining process.[36] Slight deviations are caused by inhomogeneities of subsurface structure.While most earthquakes are caused by movement of the Earth's tectonic plates.or P waves travel much faster than the S waves (approx. Also the depth of the hypocenter can be computed roughly. . the velocity increases within the deep mantle to ~13 km/s. magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas). human activity can also produce earthquakes. through coal mining.

the distance from the epicenter. Ground rupture is a visible breaking and displacement of the Earth's surface along the trace of the fault. the following: Shaking and ground rupture Shaking and ground rupture are the main effects created by earthquakes. More active zones are divided into smaller F-E regions whereas less active zones belong to larger F-E regions. The effects of earthquakes include. which are based on political and geographical boundaries as well as seismic activity. principally resulting in more or less severe damage to buildings and other rigid structures.Earthquakes are not only categorized by their magnitude but also by the place where they occur. but are not limited to. A tsunami overwhelms the ships in the harbor. This effect is called site or local amplification.000 people. Ground rupture is a major risk for large engineering structures such as dams. Specific local geological. The severity of the local effects depends on the complex combination of the earthquake magnitude. bridges and nuclear power stations and requires careful mapping of existing faults to identify any likely to break the ground surface within the life of the structure. geomorphological. which killed an estimated 60. and the local geological and geomorphological conditions. which may amplify or reduce wave propagation.[37] The ground-shaking is measured by ground acceleration. The world is divided into 754 Flinn-Engdahl regions (F-E regions). which may be of the order of several metres in the case of major earthquakes.[38] Landslides and avalanches Main article: Landslide . It is principally due to the transfer of the seismic motion from hard deep soils to soft superficial soils and to effects of seismic energy focalization owing to typical geometrical setting of the deposits. and geostructural features can induce high levels of shaking on the ground surface even from low-intensity earthquakes. Effects of earthquakes 1755 copper engraving depicting Lisbon in ruins and in flames after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.

This can be a devastating effect of earthquakes.Earthquakes. like buildings and bridges. eventually collapsing upon themselves. soil liquefaction caused many buildings to sink into the ground. In the event of water mains rupturing and a loss of pressure. For example. a major geological hazard. coastal wave attack. water-saturated granular material (such as sand) temporarily loses its strength and transforms from a solid to a liquid. to tilt or sink into the liquefied deposits.[39] Fires Fires of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake Earthquakes can cause fires by damaging electrical power or gas lines. Landslide danger may persist while emergency personnel are attempting rescue. and wildfires.[40] Soil liquefaction Main article: Soil liquefaction Soil liquefaction occurs when. along with severe storms. more deaths in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were caused by fire than by the earthquake itself. in the 1964 Alaska earthquake. volcanic activity. can produce slope instability leading to landslides. Soil liquefaction may cause rigid structures. For example. because of the shaking. it may also become difficult to stop the spread of a fire once it has started.[41] Tsunami Main article: Tsunami .

In the open ocean the distance between wave crests can surpass 100 kilometers (62 miles).[43] Floods occur usually when the volume of water within a body of water. exceeds the total capacity of the formation.The tsunami of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake Tsunamis are long-wavelength. Tsunamis can also travel thousands of kilometers across open ocean and wreak destruction on far shores hours after the earthquake that generated them. and the wave periods can vary from five minutes to one hour. Earthquakes may cause landslips to dam rivers. and as a result some of the water flows or sits outside of the normal perimeter of the body. Impact projections suggest the flood could affect roughly 5 million people.[42] Floods Main article: Flood A flood is an overflow of any amount of water that reaches land. were to fail during a future earthquake. long-period sea waves produced by the sudden or abrupt movement of large volumes of water. although some instances of this have been recorded.[44] The terrain below the Sarez Lake in Tajikistan is in danger of catastrophic flood if the landslide dam formed by the earthquake.[46][47][48][49] Human impacts . Most destructive tsunamis are caused by earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale do not cause tsunamis. subduction earthquakes under magnitude 7. floods may be secondary effects of earthquakes. [42] Ordinarily. which collapse and cause floods. Large waves produced by an earthquake or a submarine landslide can overrun nearby coastal areas in a matter of minutes. However.5 or more. known as the Usoi Dam.[45] Tidal forces Research work has shown a robust correlation between small tidally induced forces and nonvolcanic tremor activity. such as a river or lake. Such tsunamis travel 600-800 kilometers per hour (373–497 miles per hour). depending on water depth. if dams are damaged.

however. which was centered in Prince William Sound.[51] The largest earthquake that has been measured on a seismograph reached 9. Major earthquakes Main article: List of earthquakes One of the most devastating earthquakes in recorded history occurred on 23 January 1556 in the Shaanxi province.000 people (see 1556 Shaanxi earthquake). higher insurance premiums.000. artificial caves in loess cliffs. occurring on 22 May 1960.[21][22] Its epicenter was near Cañete. China.[50] Most of the population in the area at the time lived in yaodongs. were deadly because of their proximity to either heavily populated areas or the ocean. The energy released was approximately twice that of the next most powerful earthquake. The 1976 Tangshan earthquake. while powerful.5 magnitude. many of which collapsed during the catastrophe with great loss of life. Earthquakes that caused the greatest loss of life. killing more than 830.000 to 655. general property damage. lack of basic necessities. the Good Friday Earthquake. bringing further problems. where earthquakes often create tsunamis that can devastate communities thousands of kilometers away. or nonexistent seismic building codes. . one week after the 2007 Peru earthquake An earthquake may cause injury and loss of life. only the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake is simultaneously one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.[52][53] The ten largest recorded earthquakes have all been megathrust earthquakes. road and bridge damage. Chile. and poor regions with lax.Damaged infrastructure. Earthquakes can also cause volcanic eruptions. Regions most at risk for great loss of life include those where earthquakes are relatively rare but powerful. The aftermath may bring disease. with death toll estimated to be between 240. is believed to be the largest earthquake of the 20th century by death toll. and collapse or destabilization (potentially leading to future collapse) of buildings. Alaska. of these ten. unenforced.

the need of seismic retrofitting is well acknowledged. materials.Preparation To predict the likelihood of future seismic activity. state-of-the-art technical guidelines for seismic assessment. Furthermore. and techniques). seismic hazard. earthquake preparedness.[54] Measurements of the amount of accumulated strain energy on the fault each year. In view of the imminent problem. or soil failure due to earthquakes. Seismic retrofitting is the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity. and earthquake prediction. and the energy and power of the last earthquake are made. there are ways to protect and prepare possible sites of earthquakes from severe damage.) and late 1970s for many other parts of the world (Turkey. through the following processes: earthquake engineering. geologists and other scientists examine the rock of an area to determine if the rock appears "strained. time passed since the last major temblor. ground motion. it has only been implemented on California's San Andreas Fault. Prior to the introduction of modern seismic codes in the late 1960s for developed countries (US.[54] Today.[54] Together the facts allow scientists to determine how much pressure it takes for the fault to generate an earthquake. Though this method is useful. China etc.[55] many structures were designed without adequate detailing and reinforcement for seismic protection.). various research work has been carried out.[57] Studies about earthquake precursors are important to try predict strong earthquakes. seismic retrofit (including special fasteners. mitigation of seismic motion." Studying the faults of an area to study the buildup time it takes for the fault to build up stress sufficient for an earthquake also serves as an effective prediction technique. With better understanding of seismic demand on structures and with our recent experiences with large earthquakes near urban centers. retrofit and rehabilitation have been published around the world — such as the ASCE-SEI 41[56] and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE)'s guidelines. household seismic safety. Japan etc. History An image from a 1557 book Pre-Middle Ages .

When Loki. . causing violent earthquakes. forcing him to jerk his head away and thrash against his bonds. who lived from 625–547 (BCE) was the only documented person who believed that earthquakes were caused by tension between the earth and water. Anyway."[58] Earthquakes in culture Mythology and religion In Norse mythology. He also used earthquakes to punish and inflict fear upon people as revenge. he struck the ground with a trident. as depicted in the novels Richter 10 (1996) and Goodbye California (1977) among other works.From the lifetime of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras in the 5th century BCE to the 14th century CE.[61] For this reason. including the Greek philosopher Anaxamines' (585–526 BCE) beliefs that short incline episodes of dryness and wetness caused seismic activity. When he was in a bad mood.[61] A notable example is Heinrich von Kleist's classic novella.[58] Pliny the Elder called earthquakes "underground thunderstorms. The Earthquake in Chile. which caused the earth to tremble. The Greek philosopher Democritus (460–371 BCE) blamed water in general for earthquakes.[61] Jacob M. Namazu (鯰) is a giant catfish who causes earthquakes. which describes the destruction of Santiago in 1647.[62] In Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay. and is guarded by the god Kashima who restrains the fish with a stone. the portrayal of earthquakes is shaped by the memory of great cities laid waste."[58] Thales of Miletus. earthquakes were usually attributed to "air (vapors) in the cavities of the Earth. god of mischief and strife. The Ragged Edge (1968) or Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (1998). Namazu lives in the mud beneath the earth. Haruki Murakami's short fiction collection after the quake depicts the consequences of the Kobe earthquake of 1995.[59] In Greek mythology. When Kashima lets his guard fall. god of beauty and light. causing earthquakes and other calamities. earthquakes were explained as the violent struggling of the god Loki.[61] Fictional earthquakes tend to strike suddenly and without warning. but whenever she had to empty the bowl the poison dripped on Loki's face. he was punished by being bound in a cave with a poisonous serpent placed above his head dripping venom. stories about earthquakes generally begin with the disaster and focus on its immediate aftermath. the "Big One" leads to an even more devastating tsunami.[58] Other theories existed. Appel's widely anthologized short story. The most popular single earthquake in fiction is the hypothetical "Big One" expected of California's San Andreas Fault someday. such as Kobe in 1995 or San Francisco in 1906. as in Short Walk to Daylight (1972). murdered Baldr. one of the stories in Jim Shepard's Like You'd Understand. Poseidon was the cause and god of earthquakes. A Comparative Seismology. Namazu thrashes about. features a con artist who convinces an elderly woman that an apocalyptic earthquake is imminent. Popular culture In modern popular culture.[60] In Japanese mythology. Loki's wife Sigyn stood by him with a bowl to catch the poison.

or relief organizations. assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television. Stay away from damaged areas.In the film 2012 (2009). foreseen by the Mayan culture and myth surrounding the last year noted in the Mesoamerican calendar — 2012. Help injured or trapped persons. fire. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours. • • • • • • . Return home only when authorities say it is safe.[66] As was observed after other disasters involving destruction and loss of life and their media depictions. nourish. weeks. such as those of the 2001 World Trade Center Attacks or Hurricane Katrina—and has been recently observed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. When local authorities issue a tsunami warning. loss of home and familiar surroundings. to support constructive problem-solving and reflection as to how one might improve the conditions of those affected. Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Stay away from the beach. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Contemporary depictions of earthquakes in film are variable in the manner in which they reflect human psychological reactions to the actual trauma that can be caused to directly afflicted families and their loved ones. Listen for the latest emergency information. Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. it is also important not to pathologize the reactions to loss and displacement or disruption of governmental administration and services.[63] Disaster mental health response research emphasizes the need to be aware of the different roles of loss of family and key community members. the elderly.[67] What to Do After an Earthquake • Expect aftershocks. days. or even months after the quake. loss of essential supplies and services to maintain survival. and people with disabilities. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police. solar flares (geologically implausibly) affecting the Earth's core caused massive destabilization of the Earth's crust layers. Open cabinets cautiously. and to help them make sense of what has befallen them has been shown even more important to their emotional and physical health than the simple giving of provisions. Give first aid where appropriate. This created destruction planet-wide with earthquakes and tsunamis. and clothe them in the aftermath of the earthquake.[64][65] Particularly for children. Call for help. the clear availability of caregiving adults who are able to protect. but rather to validate these reactions.

bleaches. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes. it must be turned back on by a professional. gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. companies or applications. 11-Aug-2010 14:41:17 EDT • • • • • • • • • • • Home Contact Us Español Privacy Policy Important Notices Accessibility Download Plug-ins FOIA No FEAR Act Data DHS * The social media links provided are for reference only. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals. Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. call an electrician first for advice. DURING THE QUAKE Indoors . o Last Modified: Wednesday. o • • Look for electrical system damage. o Check for gas leaks. FEMA does not endorse any nongovernment Web sites. Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires.• Clean up spilled medicines. If water pipes are damaged. Inspect utilities. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire. open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker. If you turn off the gas for any reason. or if you smell hot insulation. avoid using the toilets and call a plumber.

Outdoors • • Find a clear spot away from buildings. AFTER THE QUAKE Personal Safety • • • • Expect aftershocks. protect your head with a pillow. Each time you feel one. If you get in their way. Leave a note indicating that youhave a pet. Protect yourself by wearing long pants.• • • • Stay inside DROP. In A Car • • • • Slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Check others for injuries. Leave plenty of low-fat dry food. AND HOLD ON! Check yourself for injuries. AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay inside the car until the shaking stops. Drop to the ground until the shaking stops. underpasses. leave fresh water in nonspill containers such as bathtubs and sinks. Pets may not be allowed into shelters for health and space reasons. Turn on emergency flashers on and slow to a stop. a long-sleeved shirt. sturdy shoes and work gloves. and power lines. **Never take an elevator If you are in bed. or bridges. COVER. PETS: During and after • • • • Don't try to hold your pet during a quake. Give first aid where appropriate. trees. COVER. If you can't find your pet or must leave it at home after a quake. Animals instinctively want to hide when their safety is threatened. Turn off the ignition and set the parking brake. hold on. Be careful of overhead hazards such as power lines or falling building debris. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Watch animals closely. Do not stop on overpasses. stay there. Stay away from windows and doors. Prepare an emergency pen for pets in the home that includes a 3-day supply of dry food and a large container of water. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard. where you will be and the date. which deteriorates more slowly and is less tasty so pets won't try to eat it all at once. DROP. Take cover under and hold onto a piece of heavy furniture or stand against an inside wall. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. . even the nicest pets may hurt you.

If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise. only a professional can turn the gas back on. Sewage. and people with disabilities.• Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants. Turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker if you see sparks or broken or frayed wires. If water pipes are damaged. Gas: Check for gas leaks. Telephone: Use the telephone only for emergencies. Electricity: Look for electrical system damage. SOURCE: American Red Cross. SF Chronicle Read more: open a window and leave building. avoid using the toilets and contact a plumber. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.sfgate. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe. SF Fire Department. FEMA. Home • • • • • • • Inspect your home for damage. Water: Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged.cgi? f=/earthquakes/archive/quakedrill. Check to make sure the receiver has not been shaken off the hook and is tying up the line. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company. **Remember. Fires: Look for and extinguish small fires. or if smell hot insulation.dtl#ixzz1OimVsL4h . contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. call an electrician first foradvice. the elderly.

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