Experiencing an Earthquake
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earthquake – a short period of time when the ground shakes because of geological movements deep below the surface, often causing damage, injuries, and/or death * People living in southern California experience many small earthquakes over the course of their lives.
to occur – to happen; to take place * Police are trying to determine exactly when the murder occurred.
seismologist – a scientist who studies earthquakes and the movement of the earth * Seismologists say a major earthquake will happen here sometime within the next 50 years, but they can’t provide a more specific date or time.
magnitude – the size of something; how big or small something is * If they understood the real magnitude of the problem, they would be much more concerned with finding a solution.
Richter scale – a number-based system for measuring and reporting the size and strength of earthquakes * The earthquake was only 2.0 on the Richter scale, so we couldn’t really feel it.
epicenter – the center of an earthquake; the exact point on the earth’s surface where an earthquake is strongest * Although it was a large earthquake, it didn’t cause very much damage, because there weren’t any cities near the epicenter.
fault – fault line; a large crack or long hole in the earth’s surface where parts of the earth are moving away from each other * I would never want to live near the San Andreas fault.
aftershock – one of many small earthquakes that happens soon after a large earthquake * After the earthquake, people were warned not to go back into their houses until all the aftershocks had ended.