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What are 10 facts about earthquakes?

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Quick Answer

Earthquakes are natural processes that occur beneath the earth's surface and, if strong enough, their reverberations can not only be felt by humans but can induce significant damage to the environment. Scientists are constantly striving to learn more about the causes and processes of earthquakes. They already have an incredible amount of knowledge on the topic.

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Full Answer

1. Scientists estimate that approximately 500,000 earthquakes take place every year. Of those, 100,000 can be felt, and 100 of them are strong enough to cause damage.

2. The deadliest earthquake ever recorded took place in central China in 1556. It killed about 830,000 people.

3. The first earthquake that European settlers felt in America occurred in 1663.

4. A magnitude 9.5 earthquake struck Chile in 1960 and is the largest one ever recorded.

5. The largest earthquake to hit the U.S. was a 9.2 magnitude quake that struck in Alaska in 1964.

6. Almost all earthquakes take place less than 50 miles below Earth's surface.

7. In 1760, a British engineer named John Michell was the first to suggest that earthquakes are caused by the shifting of rocks beneath the earth's surface.

8. A seiche is a phenomenon caused by earthquakes and is the sloshing of water in pools in other bodies of water caused by the earth's shaking during an earthquake.

9. The hypocenter is the location below the surface where the earthquake occurred.

10. The epicenter is the location on the surface of the earth directly above the hypocenter where the earthquake occurred.

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