Myths & realities about earthquakes

There are several myths surrounding earthquakes, but scientific facts disprove them

Mackerel sky - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

21/09/2017 13:06

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Doctor Victor Espíndola, with the National Seismological Service, explains the most common myths about earthquakes:

Earthquakes are trepidatory or oscillatoryAccording to the National Seismologic Service, seismic waves travel in all directions, causing both, horizontal and vertical movements and thus, all quakes have oscillatory and trepidatory movements. It's false to believe a quake can be of just one “type”.

Animals predict quakesAccording to the scientist, animals are sensitive to the sounds emitted by an earthquake, yet this doesn't mean they can predict them.

If there is a strong earthquake, no other earthquakes will followFalse. Dr. Espíndola says that if a strong earthquake has taken place, another of equal or greater magnitude can also happen at the same area of an area close by.​

Mackerel sky and sun halos predict earthquakesAccording to Dr. Espíndola, atmospheric effects and seismic events are unrelated. People associate them due to coincidences.

All earthquakes cause tsunamisFalse. Tsunamis are caused by high magnitude earthquakes with a hypocenter below the ocean, which causes a vertical movement of the seabed and creates a water displacement.


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