Introduction

Earthquake epicenters occur mostly along tectonic plate boundaries, and especially on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities. The seismicity, or seismic activity, of an area is the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. The word tremor is also used for non-earthquake seismic rumbling.

At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and displacing or disrupting the ground. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, and occasionally volcanic activity.

Selected article

Star indicates epicenter of the earthquake
The 2002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake occurred on June 22, 2002 in northwestern Iran, which is crossed by several major fault lines. The earthquake's epicenter was near the small village of Bou'in-Zahra in the Qazvin Province, an area known for destructive earthquakes. Measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale and 6.3 on the Moment magnitude scale, the quake killed at least 261 people and injured 1,300 more. According to the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), the earthquake was felt as far away as the capital city of Tehran, approximately 180 miles (290 km) east of the epicenter. Over 20 aftershocks followed the earthquake. There was great public anger due to the slow official response for villagers to receive supplies. Residents of the village of Avaj resorted to throwing stones at the car of a government minister.



Did you know...

  • ...that the 1946 Nankaido earthquake caused a 5-6 meter (16-20 feet) tsunami that took out another 2,100 homes after the initial destruction of the earthquake?
  • ...that the 2003 Hokkaido earthquake was not given a cost in US dollars because it occurred offshore and did not cause as much damage as it would have on the mainland of Japan?

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