SCIENTIFIC REASONS BEHIND IRAN EARTHQUAKE
Before we could determine the scientific reasons behind Iran earthquake, we have to look into the scientific phenomena “Earthquake”. What indeed is an earthquake? And what damages can it certainly cause?
According to the U.S. Department of Geological Survey, an earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another. [USGS]
The surface where they slip is the fault or fault plane. The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is the hypocenter, and the area directly above it on the surface of the Earth is the epicenter.
It is also the result of a sudden release of stored energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves. At the Earth’s surface, earthquakes may manifest themselves by a shaking or displacement of the ground. Sometimes, they also cause tsunamis.
One can also define an earthquake, according to Universe Today, as a perceptible tremor in the surface of the Earth. And what causes it, is seismic waves resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust. Sometimes, geologists detect it because of the transfer of this energy to structures, causing noticeable shaking and noise. At other times, they can be violent enough to throw people and level entire cities. [Universe Today]
Sometimes an earthquake has foreshocks. These are smaller earthquakes that happen in the same place as the more massive earthquake that follows. Scientists can’t tell that an earthquake is a foreshock until the larger earthquake happens. The most massive, main earthquake is “the mainshock”. Mainshocks always have aftershocks that follow. These are smaller earthquakes that occur afterward in the same place as the mainshock. Depending on the size of the mainshock, aftershocks can continue for weeks, months, and even years after the mainshock!
Magnitude of Iran Earthquake
According to CNN, Iran Earthquake Was the deadliest in 2017. With a magnitude of over 7.3, which left more than 400 dead.
Ritcher Scale is a device to record earthquakes. But scientists replaced it decades ago by new devices which are “seismographs”. Usually, seismograms are the product of their recordings made on a seismograph. The seismograph has a base that sets firmly in the ground, and a heavyweight that hangs free. When an earthquake causes the earth to shake, the base of the seismograph shakes too, but the hanging weight does not. Instead, the spring or string that it is hanging from absorbs all the movement. The difference in position between the shaking part of the seismograph and the motionless part was under record.
Records reveal a scale of ‘7.3’ out of ’10’ on the seismograph regarding Iran earthquake. And it is centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 9:48 p.m. Iran time, just as people began going to Bed.
Earthquakes that usually measure ‘2’ on the scale of the seismograph are “microquakes”. The ones that occur and measure up to ‘4.5’ or greater are “macroquakes”, and they cause a lot of property damages and loss of lives. So you can imagine what the people of this region went through.
Reasons Behind Iran Earthquake
According to the VOX, what triggered Iran earthquake was the rupturing of a portion of the fault line that separates the Eurasian tectonic plate and the Arabian plate, which caused one of the plates to move downward suddenly, according to USGS. That sudden movement then propagated as a wave that shook the ground for miles around the epicenter. Location of the region near a fault line make earthquakes frequent in the area.
According to relief web, the epicenter of the quake was registered at 34.86 degrees latitude and 45.9 degrees longitude, at a depth of 11km. A shallow depth that can cause tremendous damage, in Ozgoleh region in Kermanshah Province. The huge jolt, which rocked western provinces of Iran and areas in eastern Iraq, was also felt as far as Persian Gulf states Qatar and Kuwait in the south, the Occupied Palestine in the west, and Turkey in the north of the quake-stricken Iran and Iraq. It caused the biggest damage in Kermanshah, Qasr-e Shirin, and Sarpol-e Zahab (about 15km from the Iraqi border) cities.
What to do if another Earthquake strikes?
Predictions are not accurate of when another earthquake can occur. But if you are cut in the middle of it you can always follow specific procedures to ensure your safety.
If you are indoors:
• Drop to the ground and move under a piece of furniture like a table or if there’s none crouch and hold tightly till the shaking stops.
• Lay on the bed if you’re near one then cover your head with a pillow.
• Do not use the doorway unless you’re advised to do so.
• Research has shown that people who try to leave or move around then to get injured more during an earthquake so stay inside till the shaking stops. Do not try to leave the building.
• Do not use elevators.
• Stay away from windows doors etc. or furniture which can fall on you during a shaking.
If you are outside:
• Stay away from buildings or utility wires too.
• Once in the open stay there. Damages occur mostly at the outside walls and exist also.
• If you are driving, stop immediately you are in a clear safe view, avoid roads bridges and ramps too.