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

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This article 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, tectonic plates moving, cave formation 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 one of the weakest parts of the building.)



  A. Effects of Earthquake  


1. Ground Shaking

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

This makes the structure weak by making the joints lose 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.


Ground Shaking



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 the sinking and tilting of rigid structures like buildings.


Liquefaction of Soil



3. Settlement of Soil

The shaking of an earthquake acts like a natural vibrator causing the removal of air voids and shifting of water in the soil from one place to another utilizing 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.


Settlement of Soil



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.


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 due to an earthquake.





6. Flood

It is the indirect effect of an earthquake which may be caused by landslides, the breaking down of dams, etc.

Glacier bursting is also a major problem due to the earthquake.





7. Human Impacts

As we know, an earthquake causes shaking of the ground along with different forms of seismic waves ( Horizontal or vertical ).

If an earthquake lasts longer 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 live in are rigid, 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.


Human Impacts



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.



Hope you got an idea of the effects of earthquake.




Read Also: Gujrat Earthquake 2001



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