All about Earthquakes for Kids
What is an Earthquake?
Earthquakes are the shaking of the earth’s shell. It is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates waves that travel through the Earth.
The Earth's surface is made up of a series of large plates (like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle) these plates are called tectonic plates. The tectonic plates are in constant motion travelling at a few centimetres per year. When these plates move against each other, they cause activity such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building!!
Earthquakes are measured by something called a Richter scale (a scale from 1 to 10 used to measure the strength of earthquakes, the higher number the stronger tremors.) Earthquakes can be felt over large areas although they usually last less than one minute!
Most earthquakes are just too small to be felt.
Did You Know?
That the shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity!
Countries which are badly affected by earthquakes include Japan, the Philippines, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Pacific Islands, California's North Coast and San Francisco.
The Philippines, which lies between two of the world’s most active tectonic plates, experiences an average of five earthquakes per day, most of which are hardly noticeable!
In California, to help people know what to do it an earthquake they have to practice duck, cover, and hold drills, children and adults alike have to do this, do you want to try?
When an earthquake starts you need to DUCK down on the floor.
Take COVER under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
HOLD on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move.
Did you try it? If you practice something a lot then when the time comes you’ll remember exactly what to do and will not panic.
Words to Remember...
outermost layer of Earth, the crust is solid and relatively thin, and it lies below both landmasses and oceans.
Earthquake magnitude: a measure of the energy of an earthquake.
Richter scale: scale for measuring earthquakes.
Read more about Earthquakes here.
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