Underground Affects Of Earthquakes

Education News | Jul-24-2020

Underground Affects Of Earthquakes


An earthquake is a sudden shaking of the ground. Earthquakes are measured in the richer scale using a device called a seismograph. A seismograph measures the earthquake through the underground seismic waves.

Earthquakes are usually caused when underground rock or plate suddenly breaks. During the beginning of this process, these two blocks of rock rub against each other and they stick a little. These rocks continuously push each other without moving and then after some time, they break because of the pressure which is built up while shaking. When these two rocks or plates break they cause a sudden release of energy which causes an earthquake. The plates or rocks continue to move until they get stuck again. The place underground where the rock breaks are called the focus, whereas the place above the focus on the surface of the earth (lithosphere) is called the epicenter.

The epicenter of an earthquake can also be inside the water bodies like ocean floors. If the epicenter lies on the ocean floors then it leads to a tsunami. A tsunami is a series of huge waves that occur as a result of violent underwater disturbances. Such an earthquake results in the death of several aquatic animals. Earthquakes measuring over 5.5 richer scales are considered to be dangerous whereas minor earthquakes of around 2-3 richer scales are sometimes not even felt by people. Large earthquakes are considered to be dangerous as the pressure of the seismic waves could lead to several devastating instances like falling off buildings, bridges, highways, etc. especially within the magnitude.



  • Make sure that one does not use lifts as there can be any disaster within lifts due to shaking of the earth and one might get stuck.
  • If one is stuck within the house, then it is best to cover your head with a bike helmet or any other strong item.
  • Put latches on cabinet doors and drawers, so that if drawers open the things kept in it do not come out creating a mess.
  • Make an earthquake survival kit. Essential things to be kept in this kit are-
  1. Water bottle
  2. First aid kit
  3. Essential medicines
  4. Torch, Extra batteries
  5. Energy bars
  6. Sturdy shoes
  7. An extra phone with battery bank (optional)


Drop: Get down on hands and knees to get protected from being knocked over. It also puts one in an ideal position to crawl for shelter.

Cover: Place an arm and hand over the head and neck to shield them from debris. Go for any nearby table to shelter under it until the shaking stops. If a table isn’t in sight, try to stand under the beam.

 Hold: Stay still, until the shaking stops. If one is under a shelter like a table, keep a hold of it with one hand. If in the open, shield head and neck with arms.


  • Do not hide under a bed because it is a small space that might make it even smaller if the building collapses.
  • Do not use or hide under the stairs as it is a deathtrap in an earthquake. The treads could cut a person in pieces if a building collapses on its top.
  • Do not try to go out from the glass window as with the pressure of the seismic waves, the window may break resulting in an accident that will cause escaping more troublesome. 


Written by: Toshani Mehra

Class: 7-A

School: Delhi Public School, Greater Noida



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