A few months ago, we published a set of five major myths about earthquakes, with the truths listed below. They’re handy tools to test your own knowledge and perhaps even quiz your friends.
Today, we have a set of 5 more myths that we want to set straight. At Quake Kit, we’re not about fear-mongering, we’re all about preparing so that you have a lot less to fear! So get in on knowing these facts and become better prepared than ever!
Myth #1: Earthquakes only occur on the West Coast of Canada and the United States.
The world’s greatest earthquake zone is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur. Although history shows they occur in the same general patterns over time, earthquakes can strike at any location at any time.
Myth #2: Everyone will panic during the big one.
Don’t let the movies freak you out. They create a common belief that people will panic and run around madly without any direction after an earthquake, endangering themselves and others even further. However, research shows that people actually remain fairly calm after earthquakes and are often focused on making use of their earthquake kits, other supplies, plans, knowledge etc. and figuring out what they can do to help the situation.
Myth #3: California (Cascadia) will eventually fall into the ocean.
It’s impossible that California will be swept out to sea because the ocean isn’t just a big, endless hole that it can fall into. Instead, with the San Andreas fault system as the dividing point, southwestern California is moving horizontally northward towards Alaska as it slides past central and eastern California. At the rate that things are moving, it’s estimated that in about 15 million years, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be neighbours.
Myth #4: We can predict earthquakes.
Although scientists are continually working toward a better understanding of earthquakes, all we can do at this point is make statements about earthquake rates and describe the places most likely to produce earthquakes in the long term. Eventually, we want to be able to predict the size, location and time that an earthquake will happen!
Myth #5: “Mega Quakes” can really happen.
The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the area of the fault line where it happens. For example, the San Andreas Fault is 800 miles long and only approximately 10-12 miles deep, so an earthquake bigger than magnitude 8.3 is very unlikely. A magnitude 12 earthquake would require a fault larger than the earth itself!
If you’re looking for more facts on earthquakes, feel free to check out Canada’s Get Prepared website and visit our Facebook page to get in on the conversation!
-Content created by Sophie Wooding – Writer, gardener, cyclist and emergency preparedness enthusiast!