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Write a 4 line response to this … …. Earthquakes don ’ t kill people, buildings do!!!. AGREE OR DISGAREE?. Learning Objectives: To understand the features of an earthquake. To appreciate the differences in earthquake impacts around the world.

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earthquakes don t kill people buildings do

Write a 4 line response to this ……

Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do!!!


Learning Objectives:

To understand the features of an earthquake.

To appreciate the differences in earthquake impacts around the world.

To understand how people can prepare for earthquakes.


In an average year,

Approximately 12 million

earthquakes occur around

the world

Only about 100 of these

Have a significant impact

what is an earthquakes
What is an earthquakes
  • An earthquake is a sudden release of energy, caused by the earths plates rubbing together.
  • Where plates move against each other, pressure builds up between them. Eventually the pressure between these plates exceeds the friction holding them still and the earth’s plates jerk suddenly.
  • This sudden release of energy sends out huge pulses known as ‘seismic waves’ which cause the ground to shake.

Epicentre Seismic waves Fault /boundary Crust Focus

effects of earthquakes
Effects of earthquakes

The effects of earthquakes can be divided into 2 categories:

  • Primary effects – immediate consequences of the quake
  • Secondary effects – long term consequences of the quake which come about days, weeks and even months after the actual quake
primary effects
Primary effects

Secondary effects

Diseases can spread very quickly in the unsanitary conditions often left behind by massive earthquakes. Water becomes contaminated very quickly, and in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC's) especially; access for the medical services can be badly hampered by the damage caused by the quake. 

Buildings collapse.

Roads and bridges being destroyed and railway lines being buckled.

Fires: usually from ruptured gas lines. This was the main cause of death and damage after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

Tidal waves: A tidal waves caused by an earthquake is called a tsunami. They can travel very quickly across entire oceans, before engulfing land 1000's of miles away. 

Landslides can often be triggered by earthquakes, causing huge amounts of material to be moved very quickly. This is actually what occurred just before the volcanic eruption on Mt. St. Helens. They are most likely to occur where the land is steep, saturated or weak.

  • Watch the clip and add to your table. Ensure you explain what it is.

Big town

Small Village


Good response team

Basic response team


Economic development (is the country an LEDC or MEDC)

Depth of earthquake

(a shallow focus will cause more damage)


Factors affecting damage caused by earthquakes

Strength of buildings


Time of day



how are earthquakes measured
How are earthquakes measured?
  • The power of an earthquake is known as its magnitude and is measured on a scale called the Richter Scale.


  • The magnitude of an Earthquake is measured using sensitive instruments called seismometers which measure the amount the ground shakes.

The Three P’s Policy


There may be many pre-shocks before an earthquake that can be measured on a seismograph.

Animals often act strangely for examples dogs will howl before an earthquake.

All buildings must comply with strict earthquake planning regulations.

Existing buildings, roads and bridges should be strengthened.


Prepare disaster plans.

Organise and prepare hospitals and evacuation centres.

Organise emergency supplies.


page 128 129
Page 128-129
  • What can people do in earthquake prone areas?
  • Can scientists predict earthquakes?