What Type of Damage Can Earthquakes Cause?


Quick Answer

Damage from an earthquake can be broadly classified into three types: physical, structural and emotional. The severity of the damage varies in relation to the earthquake's magnitude, type of ground material and distance from the epicenter.

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Full Answer

Physical damage from an earthquake refers to the natural phenomena that may occur as a result of the sudden movement of Earth's crust. These include landslides, tsunamis, fires, mudslides and liquefaction. These events may further lead to the reorganization of the affected area's geographical features.

Structural damage refers to the destruction of buildings, roads, bridges and other foundations. The degree of this type of damage is expressed in the quake's measured intensity. Emotional damage pertains to the grief and psychological pain people experience due to the loss of loved ones or property during an earthquake.

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