Create an earthquake

An earthquake can be an immensely powerful force of nature. The damage the earthquake causes depends on where it occurs. In this activity you will choose the potential outcomes of earthquakes in different locations.

Select a location, choose possible outcomes then create the earthquake.

  • Icon of a trophy1. an earthquake in the mountains
  • Icon of a trophy2. an earthquake under the sea
  • Icon of a trophy3. an earthquake in a populated area

Study the image

Image of earthquakes in mountains Image of earthquakes under the sea Image of earthquakes in an unpopulated area
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Well done. It is likely that all these were possible outcomes for an intraplate earthquake.

On April 25, 2015, the initial shock registered a moment magnitude of 7.8 near Kathmandu, Nepal. It is a mountainous country in the Himalayas. This was an intraplate earthquake.

There were about 9,000 deaths and many thousands more were injured.

More than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and around were either damaged or destroyed.

Villages were completely wiped out along with farms, destroying people’s livelihoods.

Landslides devastated the densely populated capital city of Kathmandu and nearby rural areas. Some people were trapped under the rubble of buildings.

This earthquake also caused an avalanche on Mount Everest nearly 240 kilometers (150 miles) away.

Well done. It is likely that all these were possible outcomes.

On December 26, 2004, an undersea earthquake of moment magnitude 9.1 struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. This triggered a series of immense ocean waves that traveled the Indian Ocean reaching as far as East Africa and devastating coastal communities wherever it landed.

An estimated 225,000 people were killed across 12 countries.

Well done. It is highly likely that all these were possible outcomes for an intraplate earthquake.

On October 23, 2011, an earthquake of moment magnitude 7.2 struck the town of Erciş in the Van Province, Turkey.

The town was the epicenter and tremors were felt in the city center and surrounding villages, along with nearby provinces and their respective towns.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10–15 kilometers (6–9 miles) below the surface and caused around 2,300 buildings to fully collapse, resulting in over 600 lives lost and more than 4,100 people wounded.

Banda Aceh, Indonesia on January 17, 2005 after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of December 2004.

Photograph by Heri Mardinal

Destroyed buildings in Ercis, Van Province, eastern Turkey on October 25, 2011, two days after a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck killing 366 and injuring some 1,300.

Photograph by UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
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Find out where earthquakes occur

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