Monday, October 2, 2023

History of Earthquakes: Scientific & Religion Aspects

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In this article, we will discuss the history of earthquakes.

From the period of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras in the 5th century BCE to the 14th century CE, earthquakes were generally assigned to “air vapors in the hole of the Earth.” Thales of Miletus (625–547 BCE) was the only recorded person who used to trust that earthquakes occurred by a tension between the earth and water.

But other theories present in that period used include the Greek philosopher Anaxamines’ (585–526 BCE) faith that a small incline period of dryness and wetness for seismic activity. The Greek philosopher Democritus (460–371 BCE) hold responsible water for the cause of earthquakes. Pliny the Elder said that earthquakes are underground thunderstorms.


The history of earthquakes begins after the formation of the earth. The hills and mountains are the results of earthquakes and volcanos. The history of earthquakes is different if we watch it from the glass of religion. Different religions have a different history of earthquakes, some religions take it as god punishment for humans.


  1. Religion Aspects  

In Norse folk tales, earthquakes were taken as the extreme struggle of the god Loki. When Loki, god of mischief and strife, murdered Baldr, god of beauty and light, he was penalized by being kept in a cave with a poisonous snake kept on his head leaking venom. Loki’s wife Sigyn was with him with a bowl to collect the poison, but whenever she need to empty the bowl the poison leaked on Loki’s face, making him jerk his head away and thrash against his bonds, which was the reason for the earth to tremble.

In Greek folk tales, Poseidon was the god of earthquakes. When he was in the worst mood, he used to hit the ground with a trident, which used to result in earthquakes and other calamities. He also utilized earthquakes to penalize and impose terror upon people as revenge.

In Japanese folk tales, Namazu (鯰) was a giant catfish that used to cause earthquakes. Namazu lives in the mud under the earth and is controlled by the god Kashima who prevents the fish with a stone. When Kashima lets his control fall, Namazu hit about, leading to terrible earthquakes.




  2. Recent Study  

In current studies, geologists said that global warming is the main reason for the rise in seismic activity. According to these studies, melting glaciers and increasing sea levels disorder the balance of pressure on Earth’s tectonic plates, thus causing a rise in the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes.



The history of earthquakes is different if we watch it from the geology or scientific aspects.

  3. Scientific Reasons  

The earthquake can be caused due to volcanic eruption, moving of tectonic plates, formation of the cave in a small area, or due to explosions. It is determined with the help of a seismograph by Seismometers and is measured on the Richter Magnitude Scale.


History of Earthquakes: Scientific & Religion Aspects


Earthquake warning systems have been introduced that can give regional notification of an earthquake in progress, but before the ground surface has started to shake, potentially permitting people within the system’s range to look for shelter before the earthquake’s impact is noticed.



  4. History of Earthquakes  

Here is the history of earthquakes of 21 century: Deaths Magnitude Location Event Date
1 227,898 9.1  Indonesia, Indian Ocean 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami December 26, 2004
2 160,000 7.0  Haiti 2010 Haiti earthquake January 12, 2010
3 87,587 7.9  China 2008 Sichuan earthquake May 12, 2008
4 87,351 7.6  Pakistan 2005 Kashmir earthquake October 8, 2005
5 26,271 6.6  Iran 2003 Bam earthquake December 26, 2003
6 20,896 9.0  Japan 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami March 11, 2011
7 20,085 7.7  India 2001 Gujarat earthquake January 26, 2001
8 8,964 7.8    Nepal 2015 Nepal earthquake April 25, 2015
9 5,782 6.4  Indonesia 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake May 26, 2006
10 4,340 7.5  Indonesia 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami September 28, 2018
11 2,968 6.9  China 2010 Yushu earthquake April 13, 2010
12 2,266 6.8  Algeria 2003 Boumerdès earthquake May 21, 2003
13 2,248 7.2  Haiti 2021 Haiti earthquake August 14, 2021
14 1,313 8.6  Indonesia 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake March 28, 2005
15 1,115 7.6  Indonesia 2009 Sumatra earthquakes September 30, 2009
16 1,000 7.4  Afghanistan 2002 Hindu Kush earthquakes March 25, 2002



Read Also: Interesting Facts about Earthquakes


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Er. Madhu Krishna Poudel
Er. Madhu Krishna Poudel
He is a founder and lead author of Dream Civil International and his civil engineering research articles has been taken as source by world's top news and educational sites like USA Today, Time, The richest, Wikipedia, etc.
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