At what magnitude does damage begin to occur in an earthquake?
It isn't that simple. There is not one magnitude above which damage will occur. It also depends on other variables, such as the the distance from the earthquake, what type of soil you are on, etc. That being said, damage does not usually occur until the earthquake magnitude reaches somewhere above 4 or 5.
Why do earthquakes in other countries seem to cause more damage and casualties than earthquakes in the U.S.?
Why was an earthquake in Virginia felt at more than twice the distance than a similar-sized earthquake in California? The answer is one that many people may not realize. Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains can cause noticeable ground shaking at much farther distances than comparably-sized earthquakes in the West.
Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2004 was the deadliest year for earthquakes since the Renaissance Age, making it the second most fatal in recorded history, with more than 275,950 deaths reported from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26.
Sunday’s magnitude (M) 7.9 central Alaska earthquake was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in our Nation’s history. The epicenter of the Nov. 3 temblor was located approximately 75 miles (135 km) south of Fairbanks and 176 miles (283 km) north of Anchorage.
BOSTON -- A new ground shaking hazard map of the Western Hemisphere will show regions of potential earthquake damage, providing a useful global seismic hazard tool for government, industry and the general public.
Title: ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning ... how a few seconds can save lives and property
- The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year.
- Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain.
- With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?
Damaged unreinforced masonry building on Main Street in downtown Napa, California. Photograph credit: Erol Kalkan, USGS
USGS map showing (1) the locations of major populations and (2) the intensity of potential earthquake ground shaking that has a 2% chance of occurring in 50 years.
Scientists have long known that large earthquakes will inevitably occur along the Himalaya front.
Experts had long feared that large earthquakes would take a devastating toll on Nepal.
The 2015 Gorkha earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, but the toll was not as catastrophic as had been feared.
Analysis of available data is helping scientists...
by Brad Aagaard, USGS Research Geophysicist
- What factors controlled the variability in ground shaking in the earthquake?
- Will the ground shaking in future earthquakes display similar patterns?
- Hear about the advances made in recording ground shaking over the past 25 years.
- Learn how USGS uses this information
Ground view of collapsed building and burned area at Beach and Divisadero Streets, Marina District, San Francisco, following the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. At 5:04:15 p.m. (PDT), the magnitude 6.9 (moment magnitude; surface-wave magnitude, 7.1) earthquake severely shook the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions. The epicenter was located at 37.04° N....
Extensive damage to buildings and roads, and large boats washed far ashore, provide valuable information to tsunami researchers. Here, in Natori, Japan, south of Sendai, the height of damage indicates that the water flow from the tsunami wave was about 10 meters (33 feet).