Japan recently recorded one of the worst earthquakes to ever hit the country since the late 1800. A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit the country on the eastern coast resulting in a huge tsunami, sweeping away boats, homes, cars and people. Widespread fires erupted from this quake and sent the country into a national disaster. The question that was left on many of the people who experienced this quake was, just what might have caused the earthquake and what are the effects of an earthquake?
An earthquake is a sudden tremor or movement of the crust of the earth (Laing, 2010). These tremors usually originate naturally at the surface of the earth or below it. Earthquakes are generally linked to the movement of the lithosphere plates which are what makes up the surface of the earth. A sudden movement of the crust causes a shift in the position of these plates. This causes a series of concentric shock waves to originate from this point. A tremendous energy builds up within the rock and when this energy is releases, the shock waves released result in the emergence of the earthquake.
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