Kw-logo-smaller

Why So Many Earthquakes?

First the ground shook in Haiti, then Chile, Turkey and now Japan. The earthquakes keep coming hard and fast, causing people to wonder if the world is coming to an end ...

It's not. While it may seem as if there are more earthquakes occurring, there really aren't. The problem is what's happening above ground, not underground. More people are moving into megacities that happen to be built on fault lines, and they're rapidly putting up buildings that can't withstand earthquakes.

Earthquakes shake everythingEarthquakes shake everything

Plus, around-the-clock and widespread news coverage on TV and through the Internet, as well as and better seismic monitoring make it seem as if earthquakes are happening constantly these days.

Quake Stake

A 7.0 magnitude quake last year killed more than 230,000 people in Haiti. Then, 8.8 magnitude quake - one of the strongest since 1900 - killed more than 900 people in Chile. A few days later, a strong 6.0 magnitude quake struck Turkey. And most recently, a 9.0 magnitude quake hit Japan, causing a huge tsunami, plus concerns over a radiation risk due to damage to a nuclear power station. But, on average each year there are 134 earthquakes with a magnitude between a 6.0 and 6.9. So, really, we haven't been experiencing more quakes than normal lately.

The Richter ScaleThe Richter Scale

Lives Lost

As for the number of lives that have been lost due to recent earthquakes, that is partly due to poor construction practices in some countries that result in buildings that aren't earthquake-proof and can't stand the impact of an earthquake. In fact, it's really not earthquakes that kill people - it's buildings that shake and collapse when a quake hits.

The second part of the problem is something referred to as a megacity - a city that is crammed with way too many people. The more people living in a city when it is hit by an earthquake, the hire the death toll is likely to be. It makes total sense if you think about it.

Future Fears

Unfortunately, disaster and earthquake experts say the problem will only get worse. Of the 130 cities worldwide with more than 1 million population, more than half are on fault lines, making them more prone to earthquakes. Also, some poorer countries don't get their citizens ready for an earthquake, and that's why buildings aren't built up to standard and people don't know what to do to stay safe when a quake hits. Of course, when you're busy worrying about having enough food to eat, being ready for an earthquake doesn't really seem as important.

Mass Media

Finally, another reason quakes seems worse is that we're paying attention more. With super-fast ways of being connected to the rest of the world and getting information instantly from thousands of miles away, it's easier than ever to know what's going on in all four corners of the earth at all times. In other words, no earthquake goes unnoticed in this day and age, and that's also making it seem like there are more earthquakes happening - when really, there aren't.

Related Stories

 

11 Comments

latest videos

F992479388531

Favorite Quake Weapon:

  • Plasma Gun
  • Rocket Launcher
  • Rail Gun
  • Shotgun

related stories

Micro_san-andreas-micro
Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson saves his family in two cities as quakes rock California in the action...
Micro_earthquake-supplpy-kit-micro
Kidzworld wants you to know some of the basic safety procedures and how to prepare for natural di...
Micro_earthquake-mciro
Want a REALLY COOL science fair project? Look no further than Mother Nature, who's known to have ...
Micro_tsunami_micro
Tsunamis are giant, destructive waves that can wipe out a city in only minutes. Find out what cau...
Micro_earthquake-micro
Earthquakes happen more often then we think. We just can't feel all of them. And they don't all h...

Random in the forums

Nate-Forever-Always
My late brother =(
reply 42 minutes
-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in Say Anything:
I miss Aiden. He is someone that I am literally in love with.
reply about 1 hour
Sweet25Girl
I miss my best friend, He live in mexico :( And my second brother was navy but he travel a lot i think he was in california... Also my best friend and i havent been talk much :( 
reply about 1 hour
-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in General:
Not anymore because......I'm winning!!!!!! :D
reply about 1 hour
-Gwen9--
-Gwen9-- posted in General:
"gphpgl" wrote:What is the procedure to embed video in any of my post/thread in the forum? Is there any basic code for it?Hello! That is a great question! I will answer it for you! Answer: I'm sorry, but Kidzworld does not allow videos to be embedded in a forum, comment, private message, chat, blogs, and biographies (known as bios). You may upload videos through the "video" widget on your profile though! The videos have to come from two places though. If you do not have the video widget, then go to your settings, click on "widgets", then find " videos" and click the green plus to add the widget. Once you upload a video (and follows all of the Kidzworld rules), then you may share it to your friends. Hope this helped! :)
reply about 1 hour

play online games