Lightning" is naturally created as an electric current in the cloud. Similarly, thunderstorms form when hot air rises rapidly and brings moisture to other parts of the atmosphere higher up. Sometimes, they form cyclones too. Other times, they form hurricanes.

Earthquakes occur when tectonic plates on the edge of Earth knock into each other and slide past one another. This causes some of them to get stuck on jagged edges and cause earthquakes when they are released.

The Earth's surface has 4 main layers- Inner Core, Outer Core, Mantle, and Crust.

The Crust and Mantle layers of the Earth make up a membrane on the outside of the planet. But this membrane is not made up of a single unit, but many called tectonic plates. The region where 2 plates meet and move together is called a fault.

When each plate boundary gets caught up on each other, the rest of the tectonic plates keep moving and energy stores at the point of friction.

When this energy grows larger till it overcomes the friction, all the energy radiates from the epicenter. These waves of energy are called "seismic waves".

When these seismic waves reach the surface of the Earth, everything starts to shake. This puts all cities and states located around earthquake fault lines more prone to major earthquakes than those in the epicenter.

What is the Richter Scale of Measuring Earthquakes?

The Richter Scale, also called the Richter Magnitude Scale, is a measurement scale used for measuring the strength or size of earthquakes.

Types of Earthquakes:

Magnitude 1.0–1.9: Micro EarthQuake: Recorded by seismographs, but rarely felt by humans

Magnitude 2.0–2.9/ 3.0–3.9: Minor EarthQuake:  A little bigger earthquakes but rare damages to buildings or people

Magnitude 4.0/4.9: Light EarthQuake: This kind of earthquakes cause noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling. Causes minimum to moderate damage like things falling off shelves and cars moving off parking spots.

Magnitude 5.0/5.9: Moderate EarthQuake: This kind of earthquakes can cause poorly contructed buildings to have cracks in them and break apart. 

Magnitude 6.0–6.9: Strong EarthQuake: This kind of earthquakes is where the real damage starts happening. Even well-built structures and building can have cracks in them.

Earthquake resistant structures receive small to moderate damage.

Poorly designed buildings receive heavy damage. Violent shaking can be spread over hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter.

Magnitude 7.0–7.9/8.0–8.9: Major EarthQuake: Even sturdy buildings are not safe from major earthquakes. Heavy damages can be felt even in earthquake resistant buildings. 

Magnitude 9.0 and Greater: Great EarthQuake: The biggest of earthquake types. Causes havoc for thousands of kilometers from the fault lines to epicenter. Total destruction of everything in its path. Causes permanent changes within the Earth's geography and topography.

EarthQuakes can cause billions of lives and billions of dollars in damages and are one of nature's most formidable forces.


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