Muslim Aid Media Centre

In Their Time of Need

The recent earthquake incident in South Asia, measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale, claimed over 350 lives and caused an estimated 2,000 fatalities on the first day alone. Areas affected include Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. 

In view of this, has put together some facts about earthquakes you may not have known.

  • The earth is made up of four different layers – the inner core itself, followed by the outer core, the mantle and then the crust. The latter two are extremely thin in comparison to the former two. They are broken into portions that ultimately form the tectonic plates. These plates drift around above the inner core, which, in turn, causes friction when they interact. This is what prompts an earthquake.
  • An earthquake that occurred in Chile in 2010 has impacted in such a way that it slightly changed the rotation of the planet and shortened the length of each day by microseconds.
  • A major earthquake gaging at 8.0 or above on the Richter scale occurs almost every year on average.
  • The earthquake itself does not take the majority of the lives; it is the consequences of the earthquake that actually kills people. Collapsed buildings, landslides, floods and so forth.
  • On average, earthquakes generally last around a minute.
  • There is such thing as a moonquake, although they are a lot weaker than earthquakes.
  • Earthquakes alone are responsible for over 13 million deaths in the last 4,000 years.
  • On average, every day, approximately 50 earthquakes are recorded worldwide. There are millions more that occur each year, but not all are strong enough to be recorded. That makes the total average of recorded earthquakes in a year not much less than 20,000.
  • Largely, earthquakes are triggered by increased pressure, which is caused by the earth plates moving, on the earth’s surface. Although the earth's plates continuously move, friction can build up from the pressure and disrupt the crust. The impact of this releases energy that forms waves through the earth. This is what is known as an earthquake. These plates move naturally (approximately 3 inches per year, overall). Just another inch could cause a major earthquake.
  • Other causes of earthquakes can be caused by meteors, nuclear tests, landslides, volcanic activity and so forth.
  • The world’s biggest earthquake recorded measured 9.5 on the Richter scale and occurred around 55 years ago in Chile. The effects of this earthquake shook the whole earth for days after. However, an earthquake that occurred in the Mediterranean over 800 years ago caused approximately a million deaths.
  • In 2004, an earthquake occurred undersea the Indian Ocean and provoked a succession of tsunamis. This resulted in the death of over 250,000 people in more than ten nearby countries. The quake itself lasted almost ten minutes, which is the longest quake recorded in history.
  • The “Ring of Fire” is the name given to the region surrounding the Pacific Ocean in Alaska, which is where many of the Earth’s surface plates meet. It is also home to 75% of the world’s total volcanoes.
  • In 1920, an earthquake that occurred in China caused a landslide that killed approximately 200,000 people.
  • Aftershocks caused by large earthquakes can take place many years after its initial occurrence. 
  • An earthquake that measures below 3.0 on the Richter scale is classed as minor. Anything above 7.0 is classed as a major earthquake.
  • The first ever earthquake recorded in history occurred in China.
  • The world’s deadliest earthquake occurred in Syria over 800 years ago and claimed over a million lives.
  • In 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale occurred in Pakistan and claimed a little under 100,000 lives. Just five years later, the Haiti earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale took place and claimed just short of 250,000 lives.

 It’s frightening how the destruction caused by just 10 seconds of an earthquake can cause such phenomenal damage; it is unreal. Buildings, landmarks, homes, belongings and so much more can all be thoroughly destroyed in the chaos that it creates.

In effect of the recent earthquake in South Asia, Muslim Aid is currently on the ground helping the thousands of people that are left without homes, medical aid, food and shelter. You can help Muslim Aid in providing assistance to these vulnerable people.

Show your support, let’s try and introduce some form of normality back into their lives now, by donating to Muslim Aids’ emergency appeal today.

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