effects of earthquake | 2011 Earthquake In Japan

9 Effects of Earthquake : Ground Shaking, Liquefaction, Ground Rupture, Flood, Tsunami


In this article,  we will discuss 9 effects of earthquake-like Ground Shaking, Liquefaction, Ground Rupture, Flood, Tsunami, etc.

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, 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.

effects of earthquake | 2011 Earthquake In Japan

(Note: During an earthquake, do not hide under the staircase because it is one of the weakest parts of the building.)



  Effects of Earthquake:  


  1. Ground Shaking  

During an earthquake, seismic waves produced travel horizontally or vertically causing the shaking of structures in all possible directions.

This makes the structure weak by making the joints loose and sometimes causes tilting/collapse of a structure which may lead to loss of life and property.

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.



  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.



  5. Landslides  

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 dry landslide which also occurs due to an earthquake.



  6. Flood  

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 of seismic waves ( Horizontal or vertical ).

If an earthquake lasts for a longer time and its extent is high; this may cause health issues like heart issues, 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.



  8. Tsunami  

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 an earthquake in an ocean or lake, a volcanic eruption in the sea or ocean, and many more.

80% of tsunamis take place in the Pacific Ocean.

Most countries like Japan, the USA, Hawaii, etc are at high risk of tsunamis.

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.



  9. Fires  

It is also another indirect/ secondary effect of an earthquake.

The earthquake may lead to the breaking down of electrical supply, gas pipelines, etc causing 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