What are Aftershocks?

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Aftershocks are lesser earthquakes which occur after a major earthquake, along the same fault. They can be unsettling for people who experienced the initial earthquake, because they do not always fall into a recognizable pattern or system, jolting people and houses without warning. Because aftershocks, like earthquakes, cannot be predicted, if you experience an earthquake, you should be prepared for aftershocks, and take steps to prepare yourself including getting family members and pets out of the way of unsafe structures. An earthquake is caused by stress under the Earth's crust. There are a number of different types of earthquakes, and they vary in intensity from very mild quakes which are barely felt to severe earthquakes which cause large amounts of damage and can trigger tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The actual sensation of moving earth is caused by seismic waves, which are measured along a scale called the Richter Scale. The Richter Scale classifies intensity in magnitudes ... more
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Aftershocks are additional earthquakes that occur after the mainshock and in the same geographic area. Usually, aftershocks are smaller than the mainshock, but occasionally an aftershock may be strong enough to be felt widely throughout the area and may cause additional damage, particularly to structures already weakened in the mainshock. Aftershocks are most common immediately after the mainshock and are most likely to be felt in the first few days after the mainshock. What to do during an earthquake or aftershock: Stay calm and expect earthquakes or aftershocks to last for a few seconds up to a few minutes. If you are inside a building or other solid structure…stay there until the event is over. Duck or drop down to the floor Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors, or taller furniture When driving, stop safely as soon as possible. Stay in the vehicle until shaking stops. Do not stop vehicles under ... more

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