Earthquakes, characterized by the shaking of the ground, are natural phenomena resulting from the release of energy, generating waves that traverse in all directions.
Tectonic-origin earthquakes are particularly devastating, impacting regions with significant geological vulnerability, such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Darjeeling, and the northeastern states.
What causes earthquakes?
- The Earth’s surface is divided into seven major and several minor tectonic plates, which move gradually on semi-molten rock layers beneath the crust.
- Plate movements, involving either separation or collision, lead to powerful seismic activities known as earthquakes.
- Tectonic earthquakes, arising from geological processes, predominantly occur due to the release of energy along faults—fractures or zones between rock blocks.
- The point where energy is unleashed, termed the focus or hypocenter, results in waves propagating to the surface, with the epicenter, directly above the focus, experiencing the waves first.
- Turkey–Syria Earthquake
- Marrakesh-Safi Earthquake
- Badakhshan Earthquake
The recent devastating earthquake in Morocco, centered around Ighil, claimed numerous lives and caused substantial damage, particularly in Marrakech.
Experts highlight the heightened danger associated with such earthquakes, emphasizing their potential for greater energy release compared to deeper-seated seismic events. While deeper quakes may spread farther, their energy dissipates over greater distances.