earthquake facts

30 Earthquake Facts

Table of Contents



The earthquake has always been a serious concern for seismologists throughout the world. It seems that this field of study is a never-ending process. Due to the continuous research and study, various facts regarding earthquake have been discovered. Some of the interesting facts about the earthquake can be summarized as follows:


Earthquake Facts

1. The first-ever known seismoscope was designed during China’s Han dynasty by Zhang Heng. Seismoscope is a device that records the time of occurrence of an earthquake.

2. Robert Mallet, an Irish geophysicist and civil engineer is regarded as the “Father of Seismology”. The research paper entitled,” On the Dynamics of Earthquake” that he presented on 9 th February 1846 to the Royal Irish Academy is regarded as the “Foundation of Seismology”.

3. The seismograph was invented in 1880 by John Milne.

4. Richter Scale was invented in 1935 by Charles Richter.

5. According to researches, Earth has been the most seismologically active since the past fifteen years.

6. Each year about 500,000 earthquakes are detected by sensitive devices. Among which only 10,000 can be felt and only 100 of them pose certain damages.

7. Southern California alone experiences about 10,000 earthquakes every year and most of the tremors are not felt by the people.

8. A lesser-known fact is that even the movement of the sun and the moon cause significant tremors deep beneath the surface of the earth.

9. The first-ever recorded earthquake in the history of civilization dates back to 1652 BC in China.

10. The first instrumentally documented largest earthquake was the one that occurred in Southern Chile on 22 May 1960. According to the United States Geological Department, its magnitude was recorded to be 9.5 and is
still regarded as the “Largest Earthquake of the 20 th Century”.

11. The Indonesian Earthquake 2004, caused trimming of the bulge of the earth thereby making the planet more round.

12. According to geologists, the most geologically active region of Earth is the Pacific Ring of Fire that circles the Pacific Ocean as well as touches the coastal regions of North and South America, Russia, China and Japan.

13. The earthquake that struck Shashi, China is regarded as the “Deadliest Earthquake” ever. It occurred on 23 rd January 1556 and took away nearly 830,000 lives.

14. The process of extraction of oil from the deep mines can also significantly trigger mini-tremors.

15. Most of the earthquakes are triggered by the movement of the tectonic plates. At present, there are nearly 20 such active plates.

16. According to the reports of the National Earthquake Information Centre, an average of 50 earthquakes are recorded every year.

17. The state that has the maximum occurrence of an earthquake every year is Alaska. This state is struck by an earthquake of 7 magnitudes almost every year.

18. The prominent recorded undersea earthquake was the one that hit the Indian Ocean on 26 th December 2004. The earthquake further triggered tsunamis killing about 225,000 people.

19. The Chile Earthquake, 2010 was so strong that it entirely moved the city of Concepcion and even resulted in the shortening of Earth’s day and movement.

20. It is estimated that nearly 8,000 people are killed every year due to the earthquake.

21. Parkfield, California is regarded as the “Earthquake Capital of the World”.

22. It has been observed that more earthquakes hit the Northern hemisphere than Southern hemisphere.

23. The earthquake that triggered the worst avalanche was Peru Earthquake that occurred in 1970. It killed over 18,000 people.

24. The earthquake that triggered the worst landslide was the China Earthquake,1920 that killed nearly 200,000 people.

25. The first-ever earthquake to be recorded by photography was California Earthquake,1906.

26. An earthquake is estimated to release a hundred times more energy than the nuclear bombs particularly the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

27. Pools and water canals usually produce a strange smell before the occurrence of an earthquake due to the production of gases underneath the surface of the Earth.

28. It has been discovered that earthquakes even occur in the Moon and are known as moonquakes. They are much weaker than earthquakes.

29. The temperature of groundwater also rises during the earthquake.

30. It is believed that pagoda shape can comparatively withstand strong


Read Also: Earthquake Resistant Building


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