Earthquakes in the United States

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An earthquake is when two parts of the earth suddenly slip past one another. The surface where they slip past one is called fault or fault plane. The spot below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of our planet earth is called epicenter.

Earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics, or shifting plates in the crust of Earth, and quakes occur when the frictional stress of gliding plate boundaries builds and causes failure at a fault line. In an earthquake, elastic strain energy is released and waves radiate, shaking the ground. Scientists can predict where major temblors might occur in a general sense, but research does not yet allow forecasts for specific locations or accurate predictions of timing. Major earthquakes, some of them are starting to create tsunamis, have leveled entire cities and affected whole countries. Relatively small earthquakes can also be induced, or created by human activity, including extraction of minerals from Earth and the collapse of big buildings.

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The United States rounded up that there about fifty earthquakes every day in the world that can be located and found. Earthquakes are really dangerous and can make buildings collapse. In Chile an earthquake happened that was a 9.4-9.6 earthquake. That was the biggest earthquake in the world. Natural events such as volcanic eruptions can cause earthquakes.

Each year the southern California has at least 10,000 earthquakes every year. During an earthquake you should move as little as possible. Injuries during earthquakes mainly happen because of people moving a lot. You should try to protect your head and torso as much as possible. Stay indoors until the earthquake is over. Never use elevators after the shaking has stopped because of aftershocks or power outages. You should be aware that smoke alarms and sprinkler systems going off even if there is no fire. If you smell gas in your house you should get as far as possible because of an explosion. Before you leave a building be sure to check for debris that can fall on you so you can avoid them and be safe. Try to get away from buildings, power lines, trees, and street lights as possible. After the earthquake it might continue so be aware. Be aware of landslides, aftershocks or even a tsunami if you live on a coast so be aware of other disasters. Most of the average amount of earthquakes last around a minute. Earthquakes are not only caused by faults. Earthquakes are also created by nuclear testings, mine tests, and the volcanic activity.

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