What Exactly Are Earthquakes & Why Do They Happen?


We all know about earthquakes, but do we know why they occur?

Earthquakes are discussed in the news, on television, and in movies. They are often seen as forces of destruction that are out to get Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and are often given a bad reputation. Have you ever wondered, as The Rock heroically saves the damsel in distress, what is causing the building to fall? Yes, the earth is shaking . . . but why?

Facts about earthquakes.

  1. There are only 7 major tectonic plates, the massive slabs of rock that make up Earth’s surface, that are responsible for the majority of the world’s earthquakes. These tectonic plates slide over, under, and beside one another every single day. When the pressure between two plates rubbing against one another is released, we feel that in the form of an earthquake.
  2. There are approximately 20,000 earthquakes a year in the U.S. alone, most of which can only be detected with advanced seismographs. It’s the few that can be felt we have to worry about. Anything above a 3 on the Richter Scale will cause shaking and damage.
  3. The Ring of Fire is an area in the Pacific Ocean where about 90 percent of the Earth’s earthquakes (and 80 percent of volcanic activity) occur. This goes from the tip of South America, up the West Coast, through Alaska, to east Asia, and down to the east coast of Australia. (Appropriately named, don’t you think?)
  4. There is no way to determine where an earthquake will strike next. Their unpredictability makes it very difficult to fully prepare for.
  5. A major earthquake in a populated area of the U.S. (Los Angeles, for example) could cause as much as $200 billion in losses.

Earthquakes can be fun to learn about, but their severity is something that is not to be trifled with. Having the right earthquake insurance will help to ensure you are covered in case of any damage after the next quake. Contact the independent insurance professionals at Udell Family insurance in Westlake Village, California for all of your earthquake coverage needs.

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