Predicting earthquakes

Earthquakes are not as easy to predict as volcanic eruptions. However, there are still some ways of monitoring the chances of an earthquake:

  • Laser beams can be used to detect plate movement.
  • A seismometer is used to pick up the vibrations in the Earth's crust. An increase in vibrations may indicate a possible earthquake.
  • Radon gas escapes from cracks in the Earth's crust. Levels of radon gas can be monitored - a sudden increase may suggest an earthquake.

Preparing for earthquakes

Many of the prediction techniques used to monitor earthquakes are not 100 per cent reliable. Planning and preparing for an earthquake is therefore very important.

View of San Francisco
San Francisco in California has a history of having earthquakes
  • Preparing for an earthquake requires training for people, practising earthquake drills and paying attention to TV and radio
  • Emergency kits, first-aid items, blankets and tin food are needed for the aftermath of an earthquake.
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