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What is an Earthquake?

An earthquake is a vibration that travels through the earth's crust. Technically, a large truck that rumbles down the street is causing a mini-earthquake, if you feel your house shaking as it goes by, but we tend to think of earthquakes as events that affect a fairly large area, such as an entire city. All kinds of things can cause earthquakes, including human activity. Some common causes for earthquakes include volcanic eruptions, meteor impacts, underground explosions (an underground nuclear test, for example) and collapsing structures (such as a collapsing mine).

But the majority of naturally-occurring earthquakes are caused by movements of the earth's plates.

Earthquake Japan


An earthquake warning system is a system of accelerometers, communication, computers, and alarms that is devised for regional notification of a substantial earthquake while it is in progress. This is not the same as earthquake prediction, which is currently incapable of producing decisive event warnings.

What do you do to protect yourself during an earthquake?



In A Car


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