An earthquake is the sudden shaking of the earth that releases the energy in the earth’s lithosphere causing the creation of seismic waves.
It may be due to volcanic eruptions, moving of tectonic plates, the formation of the cave in a small area, or explosions.
It is also called a quake( or tremor or temblor).
It is measured with a Richter Magnitude scale.
Some effects of the earthquake are explained below.
(Note: During an earthquake, do not hide under the staircase because it is the weakest part of the buildings and structures.)
Effects of earthquake:
1. Ground Shaking
During an earthquake, different seismic waves are produced either horizontal or vertical.
Seismic waves cause the shaking of structures in all possible directions.
This makes the structure weak by making the joints lose and sometimes causes tilting and the collapse of a structure which may lead to loss of life and property.
If an earthquake lasted for a long time then the effect of ground shaking will leads to collapsing of more structures and losses of lives of humans and animals.
With the help of the ground accelerator; ground shaking is measured.
2. Liquefaction of soil
Liquefaction of soil is one of the alternative effects of ground shaking.
When water-saturated granular material like sand loses its strength temporarily; it gets converted into a liquid state from solid and hence liquefaction takes place.
This generally causes sinking and tilting of rigid structures like buildings and sometimes leads to complete collapsing of the structure.
3. Settlement of soil
The shaking of an earthquake acts like a natural vibrator causing the removal of air voids and shifting of water present in soil from one place to another by means of natural pressure. This causes the settlement of soil to a high extent.
It results in the settlement, tilting, and sometimes may lead to the complete collapse of structures.
4. Ground Rupture
Ground rupture is the visible breaking and displacement of the Earth’s surface along the trace of the fault, which may be small or large in extent.
During the shaking, stresses are produced in the ground leading to ground rupture.
Structures like dams, nuclear power stations, bridges, tunnels, pipelines, roads, etc are at high risk of ground rupture.
An earthquake causes slope instability by shaking the slopy land in all possible directions. This causes landslides that result in the loss of thousands of lives and properties.
Sometimes landslide is so big that it nearly destroys the hill completely.
Rockfall is also a type of landslide which also occurs due to an earthquake.
It is the indirect effect of an earthquake which may be caused by landslides, breaking down of dams, etc.
Glacier bursting is also a major problem that may be due to the earthquake.
7. Human Impacts
As we know that an earthquake causes shaking of the ground along with different forms ( Horizontal or vertical ) of seismic waves.
If an earthquake lasts for a longer time and its extent is high; this may cause diseases like heart diseases, panic attacks, and depression in survivors.
Thousands of people die every year because of earthquakes.
The structures we lived in are rigid in nature and the effect of the earthquake is more in such structures.
It is so much sudden that maximum people do not get the chance to escape.
Tsunami is derived from the Japanese word i.e. Harbour Wave. It is also called Tidal Wave.
A tsunami is a series of large waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of water due to the earthquake in an ocean or lake, the volcanic eruption in the sea or oceans, and many more.
80% of Tsunami takes place in the Pacific Ocean.
Most of the countries like Japan, the USA, Hawai, etc are at high risk of Tsunami.
Landlocked countries like Nepal, Mali, Hungary, Bhutan, Ethiopia, etc are risk-free.
An earthquake of 7.5 magnitudes or more is the greatest reason for the tsunami.
It is also another indirect/ secondary effect of an earthquake.
The earthquake may lead to the breaking down of electrical supply, gas pipelines, etc that causes a fire.
Once the fire starts, it is very hard to control it from spreading.
In 1906, during the San Francisco earthquake; more people die due to the effect of fire rather than other effects of an earthquake.
|Read Also: Gujrat Earthquake 2001|