Why do Earthquakes happen?

The ground beneath your feet might feel as solid as a rock, but it’s actually moving every minute of every hour of every day. Earth’s crust is broken into ‘’plates’’ that fit together like puzzle pieces. They’re always on the march, a phenomenon known as continental drift. (The plates creep about as fast as your fingernails grow.) When the plates scrape against each other, they can slip and create an earthquake. Most earthquakes are harmless because they happen far from populated areas or deep beneath the surface of the land or the ocean, but big ones have far-reaching effects. A powerful earthquake in Alaska, U.S.A., in 1964 sunk boats as far away as Louisiana. Earthquakes can cause landslides, fires, and structural damage to cities and roads. Undersea quakes can unleash powerful tsunamis that slosh over the land.


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