You are on page 1of 10

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. Earthquakes are recorded with a
seismometer, also known as a seismograph. The
moment magnitude (or the related and mostly
obsolete Richter magnitude) of an earthquake is
conventionally reported, with magnitude 3 or
lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible
and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over
large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on
the modified Mercalli scale.
• At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest
themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing
the ground. When a large earthquake epicenter is
located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers
sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami. The
shaking in earthquakes can also trigger
landslides and occasionally volcanic activity.
• In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is
used to describe any seismic event — whether a
natural phenomenon or an event caused by
humans — that generates seismic waves.
Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of
geological faults, but also by volcanic activity,
landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments.
An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called
its focus or hypocenter. The term epicenter refers
to the point at ground level directly above the
From the lifetime of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras in the 5th century BCE to the 14th
century CE, earthquakes were usually attributed to "air (vapors) in the cavities of the
Earth". Thales of Miletus, who lived from 625-547 (BCE) was the only documented
person who believed that earthquakes were caused by tension between the earth and
water. Other theories existed, including the Greek philosopher Anaxamines' (585-526
BCE) beliefs that short incline episodes of dryness and wetness caused seismic activity.
The Greek philosopher Democritus (460-371BCE) blamed water in general for
earthquakes. Pliny the Elder called earthquakes "underground thunderstorms". In Norse
mythology, earthquakes were explained as the violent struggling of the god Loki. When
Loki, god of mischief and strife, murdered Baldr, god of beauty and light, he was
punished by being bound in a cave with a poisonous serpent placed above his head
dripping venom. Loki's wife Sigyn stood by him with a bowl to catch the poison, but
whenever she had to empty the bowl the poison would drip on Loki's face, forcing him to
jerk his head away and thrash against his bonds, causing the earth to tremble.
• In Greek mythology, Poseidon was the cause and god of earthquakes. When he was in a
bad mood, he would strike the ground with a trident, causing this and other calamities.
He also used earthquakes to punish and inflict fear upon people as revenge. In Japanese
mythology, Namazu is a giant catfish who causes earthquakes. Namazu lives in the mud
beneath the earth, and is guarded by the god Kashima who restrains the fish with a
stone. When Kashima lets his guard fall, Namazu thrashes about, causing violent
Causes of Earthquake
• An earthquake is a series of vibrations on the earth's
surface caused by the generation of elastic (seismic)
waves due to sudden rupture within the earth during
release of accumulated strain energy.

• Faulting may be considered as an immediate cause of an

earthquake. Due to constant movement of plates,
deformation is caused which results to generations of
strain energy.

• Indian plate is moving in north-north-east direction and

colliding with Eurasian plate along the Himalayas.
Effects/impacts of earthquakes

Shaking and ground rupture

Shaking and ground rupture are the main effects created by earthquakes, principally
resulting in more or less severe damage to buildings and other rigid structures. The severity
of the local effects depends on the complex combination of the earthquake magnitude, the
distance from the epicenter, and the local geological and geomorphological conditions,
which may amplify or reduce wave propagation. The ground-shaking is measured by ground

Landslides and avalanches

Earthquakes, along with severe storms, volcanic activity, coastal wave attack, and wildfires,
can produce slope instability leading to landslides, a major geological hazard.Landslide
danger may persist while emergency personnel are attempting
Earthquakes can cause fires by damaging electrical power or gas lines. In the
event of water mains rupturing and a loss of pressure, it may also become
difficult to stop the spread of a fire once it has started. For example, more deaths
in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were caused by fire than by the earthquake

Soil liquefaction
Soil liquefaction occurs when, because of the shaking, water-saturated granular
material (such as sand) temporarily loses its strength and transforms from a solid
to a liquid. Soil liquefaction may cause rigid structures, like buildings and bridges,
to tilt or sink into the liquefied deposits.
Tsunamis are long-wavelength, long-period sea waves produced by the sudden or abrupt
movement of large volumes of water. In the open ocean the distance between wave crests
can surpass 100 kilometers, and the wave periods can vary from five minutes to one hour.
Such tsunamis travel 600-800 kilometers per hour, depending on water depth. Large waves
produced by an earthquake or a submarine landslide can overrun nearby coastal areas in a
matter of minutes. Tsunamis can also travel thousands of kilometers across open ocean and
wreak destruction on farshores hours after the earthquake that generated them.
Date Time Place Comments Ma
October 03:50:38 UTC, Kashmir Pakistan India 95km (59 miles) NE of Islamabad, 7.6
8, 2005 see 2005 Kashmir earthquake Pakistan, 125 km (75 miles) WNW of
08:50:38 Local
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir (pop
Time October 8
Decembe 00:58:53 UTC, off west coast northern Sumatra India second largest earthquake ever recorded 9.0
r 26, 2004 Srilanka Maldivessee 2004 Indian Ocean to
07:58:53 Local 9.3
Time December 26
January 08:50:00 Local Kutchh see Gujarat earthquake of 2001 Epicenter in Kutch, loss of life in 6.9 /
26, 2001 Ahmedabad and Kutch 7.9
Time January 26
Septemb 03:50:38 UTC, Latur-Killari, India see 1993 Latur 6.2
er 29, earthquake
1993 22:25 Local Time
September 29
August Tibetan plateau (Arunachal Pradesh - Largest earthquake recorded in mainland 8.5
15, 1950 China border), India India since Independence.
see 1950 Assam earthquake

January 2:13 PM (I.S.T.) Bihar, India Largest ever earthquake recorded in 8.7
15, 1934 see 1934 Bihar earthquake mainland India.

June 12, Shillong Plateau, India Largest ever earthquake recorded in 8.7
1897 see 1897 Assam earthquake mainland India.
Some Do's and Don'ts

• Take shelter under a desk, table, bed or doorway during
an earthquake.
• Provide help to others and develop confidence.
• Shut off kitchen gas.
• Keep stock of drinking water, food stuff and first aid
• If you are in a moving vehicle, stop and stay in vehicle.
• Follow and advocate local safety building code for
earthquake resistant construction.
• Heavy objects, glasses should be kept on lower shelf.
• Turn on transistor or T.V. to get latest information.
• Make plan and preparation for emergency relief.
• Do not get panicky
• Do not use candles, matches etc and do
not switch o any electric mains
immediately after an earthquake.
• Do not spread and believe in rumours
• Do not run through or near buildings during
an earthquake