Earthquakes refer to the sudden shaking or vibrations of the earth’s crust due to the sudden and rapid displacement of tectonic plates along the line of weakness (faults). It occurs mainly in volcanic eruption zones.
The point from which the earthquake originates is known as focus and the intensity of earthquakes can be measured by using an instrument called a seismograph. The point on the surface vertically above the focus is called epicenter.
Precautionary measures to avoid high damage from earthquakes:
- Refraining from building high-rising structures on the land vulnerable to earthquake as well as strengthening buildings by using reinforced concrete, steel frames, deep foundations and light roofs.
- Geologists should detect epicentres and tell the people to evacuate the places likely to be affected by earthquakes.
- To avoid constructing very large water bodies like Kariba dam which can cause the earthquakes due to the weight of water and other materials.
- Discouraging the use of explosives like dynamites in breaking the rocks during mining and construction operations.
- Government should set aside enough funds to finance various activities of helping victims of earthquake
- education should be provided to the people on what to do before, during and after earthquake