An Earthquake is a sudden trembling of earth’s surface caused by rapid energy release,produced by seismic waves. These seismic waves are caused when the inner rocky layer of the earth also known as tectonic plates shifts its position. An earthquake leaves trace of disastrous effects on mankind. It is one of the dangerous natural calamities that results in humungous environmental, economic, social and emotional losses.
How to measure earthquake? The measurement of earthquake is done by Richter Scale. It is named after the name of its inventor, “Charle’s Richter”, who was an American seismologist. Richter scale is a logarithmic scale, which helps to determine the magnitude of the earthquake on the basis of the ground amplitudes, the wavelength, the distance and the depth.
Causes of earthquake: The prime causes of the earthquake can be natural or artificial phenomena. It is not a random process, rather is influenced by several drastic changes on the earth’s crust for a prolonged period of time. There are main five causes of earthquake categorized under natural or artificial process:
1. Volcanic Eruption:It is one of the primary causes of earthquake. Areas which are close to volcano prone zones faces this type of nature’s wrath. Volcanic eruptions are caused when boiling lava tries to erupt from the surface of the earth. Due to which, there is an increased pressure of gases resulting in certain movements on the Earth’s crust. This inner movement of the Earth’s crust caused by the volcanic lava causes earthquake.
2. Tectonic Movements: This is another major cause of earthquake. The surface of the earth consists of tectonic plates. These plates are mobile and their movement can be towards or away from each other. Earthquake is caused when the tectonic plates move towards each other and collide. This type of earthquake has varying intensities.
3. Geological Influence:The tectonic movements of the earth’s surface are caused by movement of the earth’s plates, which creates shifting of rocks causing huge energy release in the form massive vibration known as earthquake. Such kind of geological influence results in disastrous form of earthquake.
4. Artificial (Human interference): When humans interfere natural balance, nature also retaliates in one or the other form. Earthquakes can be one of the results of human intrusion to disturb natural processes. Human activities like nuclear tests, construction of dams, mining, usage of explosive to crack down hill rocks for human use etc can influence calamities like earth quake.
5. Other Causes: Earthquakes can also be caused by landslides, sudden collapse of heavy rocks, etc. Although the consequences of these kind of factors in minor, but at times these can also scale up to moderate intensities to moderate earthquakes.
Aftershocks are known as minor waves followed by a major tremor. This often happens to completely release the stress caused at Earth’s crust. Aftershocks have varied intensities and they are likely to happen immediately after a calamitous shock wave.
Effects of earthquake:
Earthquake effects can be categorized as:
Social Effect:The effects of an earthquake are devastating and leaves a terrible effect our society. There is a massive loss due to destruction of many buildings, hospitals, schools, etc. In the past as the effect of earthquakes several cities has been destroyed completely.
Emotional Effect: Earthquake also impacts emotional well-being of humans. It is a natural calamity, which maximum times have fatalities and casualties. Losing friends and family is heart breaking. Many people go through heavy financial loses too.
Economic Effect: The destruction caused by earthquake is so high at times that may affect mankind economically. There are several financial impacts that accompanies as an aftershock of a quake.
Environmental effect:The consequences of the earthquake affects the environmental balance. Post a massive tremor other disastrous effects such as tsunamis, soil liquefaction, ground resonance, landslides ground failure etc, are reported scaling the dreadful impact more.
How to get prepared for an earthquake?
Earthquake may strike suddenly, so it is necessary to be prepared in advance to avoid panic state during the tremor. There are governments policies to handle a situation but you should be aware and be prepared to combat such tremors. Here are some of the alertness:
Prepare your home: Remove the clutters from your home. Repair the furniture, shelve and other constructional fixes so that it should be capable of handling minor shocks. Rearrange your belongings, such as keep the heavy items at the lower shelves and light and small articles at the upper shelves. Keep minimum furnishings and always keep spaces such as underneath the table, empty. Keep your important documents and precious belonging in a bag handy.
Prepare your surroundings: Make sure that you have an open space in your area. Such as an open field or a wide road. You should have easy access to open spaces. During the high intense quakes, building may tend to collapse. It is important to gather in a open space to save your life. Make your that your building is earthquake proof. It should have a check on all sorts of cut-offs like electricity, elevators during a shock wave.
Educate people: You should also ensure safety of mankind along with your own. Educate as many people in your neighbourhood about the safety measures such as:
Finding a safe place underneath a table or other firm substance during minor attacks.
Reach out to an open space immediately if the tremor gets intense.
Never use elevator and use the staircase instead.
Never touch the electrical or electronics items.
Not to panic and help other people too.
Earthquake is a natural disaster that may attack anytime. Although, there are several causes including natural and geological reasons that trigger it, we as humans should try not to hamper the environmental balance and contribute to its control factor.