Why do Earthquakes Happen and What Can You do to Prepare
Earthquakes are one of the most powerful and destructive forces on earth. They can cause massive damage to populated areas, as well as trigger tsunamis and landslides. There are many factors that contribute to the occurrence of earthquakes, including plate tectonics, magma movement in volcanoes, changes in temperature or water pressure, and strong winds. While you cannot prevent earthquakes from happening, there are several things you can do to help make yourself safer when they strike.
One key thing to remember is that just because you live in an area with a high risk of earthquakes does not mean that you will experience one every day. Prepare by having an emergency kit at home and keeping your family up to date on disaster plans in case you need to evacuate. Additionally, it is important to educate yourself about the warning signs of an earthquake, such as feeling shaking or hearing rumbling noises.
Ultimately, being aware of your surroundings and taking steps to stay safe during an earthquake can help minimize the damage and disruption that these powerful natural disasters cause. So, if you live in one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, know that by preparing and staying informed, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area around the Pacific Ocean that is prone to tectonic activity and earthquakes, Japan is first on the list. Due to daily activity, it has developed a technology able to detect even the smallest of earthquakes. Fitted with over 1,000 seismometers around the island, researchers show that the majority of the earthquakes are small and not felt by residents, but occasionally a larger earthquake strikes that can cause damage or even loss of life.
Japan also has a nationwide system to notify its residents of an impending earthquake, so they are ready. It is still important for residents to prepare with emergency supplies, a disaster plan, and escape routes in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster.
Indonesia experiences earthquakes that are larger than 6.0 magnitude nearly every year, making it one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. In 2018, nine earthquakes larger than 6.0 shook the country, resulting in thousands of lost lives. Due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is also vulnerable to volcanic activity, droughts, floods, and tsunamis.
China has a long history of devastating earthquakes that have claimed thousands of lives. In 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan Province and left over 87,000 people dead or missing. It was the 18th deadliest earthquake of all time.
There are many reasons why China is so prone to earthquakes. It sits on top of several active tectonic plates that constantly shift and grind against each other, putting stress on the land below. Additionally, China has many mountainous regions that are susceptible to landslides and other geological disturbances, which can trigger earthquakes in nearby areas.
With its position along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. Due to its mountainous geography, earthquakes can also trigger deadly landslides. In addition, typhoons and tropical storms are common. Because of these frequent and severe natural disasters, many people living in the Philippines take steps to ensure their safety by building strong structures.
Iran is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, with a history of devastating earthquakes that have killed thousands of people over the years. Due to its location along several plate boundaries and fault lines, Iran experiences a high frequency of seismic activity, resulting in rough terrain and unstable buildings.
One of the worst quakes to hit Iran was in the Gilan province. This quake in 1990 claimed over 40,000 lives. Despite this terrible tragedy, Iranians continue to live in this beautiful country because they know how to prepare for natural disasters like earthquakes.
Located on the Anatolian peninsula between the Balkans and Eastern Europe, Turkey is frequently hit by seismic activity due to its location near several major fault lines. Sandwiched between the Eurasian Plate and the African and Arabian Plates, a good portion of the country experiences some level of tremors each year. Undeterred by this risk, many people still choose to live in Turkey, drawn by its rich culture and beautiful natural scenery.
Peru sits at the heart of the Ring of Fire and regularly experiences small tremors as well as moderate and major earthquakes. These quakes can cause significant damage to buildings and infrastructure, putting lives at risk. This country takes these types of disasters seriously, conducting nationwide earthquake drills to help prevent loss of life.
At first glance, the US may seem like an unlikely candidate for being one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. After all, it is not located in a traditionally earthquake-prone region. However, what makes the US so vulnerable to earthquakes is its unique geological landscape.
One of the main factors contributing to the US’s high risk of earthquakes is its position along several major fault lines, including the San Andreas Fault and New Madrid Fault. These highly active fault lines run through much of the western part of the country, putting millions of people at risk.
Another key factor contributing to the US’s high risk of earthquakes is its high population. With a total population of over 300 million people, the US has one of the highest populations in the world. This means that even relatively small earthquakes can cause significant damage and loss of life, due to the large number of people affected by them.
With a landscape that consists of rugged mountain ranges, inactive volcanoes, and coastal plains, Italy is prone to seismic activity due to its location on multiple fault lines. Namely, the Eurasian Plate, surrounded by the Aegean Sea Plate, the Adriatic Plate, and the Anatolian Plate.
Some of the most devastating earthquakes to hit Italy have included the 1908 Messina earthquake, which killed over 75,000 people, and the 1980 Irpinia earthquake, which resulted in more than 2,400 deaths. Despite these tragic events, Italians continue to live and work in areas that are at risk for future earthquakes.
Like many countries located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, Mexico is vulnerable to regular seismic activity. Thankfully, the country has strict building codes and emergency procedures in place to minimize damage during an earthquake or other natural disaster. But it is still important for residents to help their communities stay prepared by participating in drills, keeping emergency supplies on hand, and knowing what to do if an earthquake strikes.
As you can see, no matter where you live in the world, there is always the chance of experiencing an earthquake or other natural disaster. It is important to stay aware of any seismic activity in your area and know what to do if this risk becomes a reality. By taking steps like participating in drills and emergency preparedness programs, keeping emergency supplies on hand, and knowing how to protect yourself during an earthquake or other natural disaster, you can help keep yourself and your family safe from harm.