The aftermath of an earthquake.

An earthquake is an effect of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves.

At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, and occasionally volcanic activity.

In its most general sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event — whether natural or caused by humans — that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.

Popular CultureEdit

Earthquakes have appeared in many films mainly focusing on the aftermath and the destruction which occurred after the earthquake. Films such as Short Walk to Daylight (1972), The Ragged Edge (1968) or Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (1998) and Earthquake (1974).