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An earthquake is a vibration of the Earth produced by a rapid release of

energy (Tarbuck 378). The main features include the focus, the location
within the Earth where the earthquake rupture starts, and the epicenter, the
point on the Earth's surface directly above the focus. Earthquakes have a
greater effect on society than most people think. These effects range from
economical to structural to mental. An earthquake only occurs for a few brief
moments; the aftershocks can continue for weeks; the damage can continue
for years.
Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks
along a fault. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that
make the ground shake. When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing
against each other, they stick a little. They don't just slide smoothly; the
rocks catch on each other. The rocks are still pushing against each other, but
not moving. After a while, the rocks break because of all the pressure that's
built up. When the rocks break, the earthquake occurs. During the
earthquake and afterward, the plates or blocks of rock start moving, and
they continue to move until they get stuck again. The spot underground
where the rock breaks is called the focus of the earthquake. The place right
above the focus (on top of the ground) is called the epicenter of the
earthquake.
An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the result of a
sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The
seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size
of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. Earthquakes are measured
with a seismometer; a device which also records is known as a seismograph.
The moment magnitude (or the related and mostly obsolete Richter
magnitude) of an earthquake is conventionally reported, with magnitude 3 or
lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing
serious damage over large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on the
modified Mercalli scale.

What are Seismographs?


A seismograph is an instrument for measuring earthquake (seismic) waves.
They are held in a very solid position, either on the bedrock or on a concrete
base. The seismometer itself consists of a frame and a mass that can move
relative to it. When the ground shakes, the frame vibrates also, but the mass

tends not to move, due to inertia. The difference in movement between the
frame and the mass is amplified and recorded electronically.
A network of seismometers is used to calculate the magnitude and source of
an earthquake in three dimensions
Seismographs are used to determine:

Magnitude: the size of the earthquake

Depth: how deep the earthquake was

Location: where the earthquake occurred

The Philippine
Institute
of
Volcanology
and
Seismology (Filipino: Surian ng Pilipinas sa Bulkanolohiya at Sismolohiya)
abbreviated as PHIVOLCS) is a Philippine national institution dedicated to
provide
information
on
the
activities
of volcanoes,earthquakes,
and tsunamis, as well as other specialized information and services primarily
for the protection of life and property and in support of economic,
productivity, and sustainable development. It is one of the service agencies
of the Department of Science and Technology.
PHIVOLCS monitors volcano, earthquake, and tsunami activity, and issues
warnings as necessary. It is mandated to mitigate disasters that may arise
from
such volcanic
eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis,
and
other
related geotectonic phenomena.

Earthquake prediction is concerned with forecasting the occurrence of an


earthquake of a particular intensity over a specific locality within a specific
time limit. Normally prediction is of three types viz. long, medium and short
range prediction.

While long range prediction is concerned with forecasting the occurrence of


an earthquake a number of years in advance, medium term prediction is to
be done a few months to a year or so and the short term prediction implies
forecast ranging from a few hours to some days in advance.
Medium and short range predictions are very useful because they can help in
saving the largest population from disaster in terms of life and property.
Scientists believe that it is possible to predict major earthquakes by
monitoring the seismicity caused by natural earthquakes, mining blasts,
nuclear tests, etc.