An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude jolted Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region at 5:07 am on Saturday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
So what are Earthquakes? Why do they happen? Why certain places are so earthquake prone?
Our earth’s surface is made up of rocks/plates. An Earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rocks/plates beneath the earth surface. The shaking could last for seconds or minutes.
Imagine earth like a big puzzle where puzzle pieces are made up earth plates and the gaps between all the puzzle pieces correspond to plate boundaries called ‘fault’ line . Earthquakes always happen along plate boundaries. Unfortunately, areas that are situated more directly on or near a ‘fault’ line are more prone to earthquakes. Indonesia, Japan, USA, Chile are some such areas.
How severe or mild an earthquake is, is measured on a scale of one to ten. Anymore than 8 is considered as a severe earthquake. Severe Earthquakes on land can make houses and tall weak buildings collapse, roads break, cars crash, trees fall and many other things.