Cause and Effects of Earthquakes.
On average, a single earthquake kills tens of thousands of people (Green, Jen 5). Earthquakes are sudden shakings of the ground, and result from the sudden breaking and shifting of the earth’s crust. These natural disasters almost always cause deaths, and usually occur near the Ring of Fire, which surrounds the Pacific Ocean. The earth’s crust is made up of plates, which are most active near the Ring of Fire and move about five inches per year. Earthquakes occur when these plates move across, towards or away from each other and they can cause tsunamis and destruction of entire cities.
There are many causes for earthquakes. In addition, to understand earthquakes, one must know about tectonic plates. Tectonic plates make up the earth’s crust, and they “float like huge rafts on hot, liquid rock deep inside earth.” (Spilsbury, Louis 7) One way that earthquakes can occur is when a plate moves across from another plate. This movement can cause an earthquake or a volcano, but earthquakes tend to occur more frequently. Also, earthquakes form when the plates move towards each other. When the plates slam together, energy is being released, shaking the earth. Lastly, earthquakes can form are when the tectonic plates slide across each other. This movement causes an immense amount of friction to build up, and once the friction gets released, shockwaves are released. Shockwaves are the forces of an earthquake being spread out (Spilsbury, Louis 6). There are many effects to these earthquakes, and one of them is a tsunami.
Tsunamis are a very deadly effect of earthquakes. Tsunamis are huge ocean waves that can race up to 600 miles per hour (Green, Jen 26) and they are produced when earthquakes shake the seabeds (Jennings, Terry 24). First, an effect that tsunamis can have on civilization is the destruction of entire towns and villages. At first, tsunamis look less than two meters high in deep water, but when they reach the beach, they could grow to massive heights, landing on the villages, destroying everything in its sight (Jennings Terry 25). In addition, tsunamis can cause extreme, indirect damage to entire countries. One example was when the March 2011 Japan earthquake hit with a magnitude of 9.0. A tsunami occured after, which later destroyed a nuclear reactor that caused radiation to leak. Fukushima was then uninhabitable and still is today. Finally, tsunamis can be deadly because they can cause floods. Floods are devastating because they reduce the amount of space where humans can live. They are also deadly because they can take away fertile land that was essential for human growth. Tsunamis are not the only effect of earthquakes, however, because landslides may also occur.