We live on a dynamic and sometimes violent planet which never stops moving. Thousands of earthquakes shake the Earth’s surface everyday and lava constantly erupts through gaps in the crust from the mantle below. Fortunately most of these events are either too small to be noticed, or happen far away from people. However, when these violent events come into contact with humans the results can be devastating!
When powerful Earthquakes strike they can kill thousands and leave many more homeless. On Boxing Day 2004 the second most powerful earthquake in recorded history took place deep within the crust beneath the Indian Ocean. This earthquake itself didn’t kill anybody but the Tsunami it triggered killed over 200,000 people.
Volcanoes too can be very dangerous and have their own hazards such as massive clouds of superheated volcanic ash, rivers of molten lava, and poisonous gasses.
Volcanoes and Earthquakes are impossible to stop, so what can we do to protect people and save lives? Scientists help us to be prepared, and carefully watch our planet and measure every little quake and shake for signs of future disasters. Also by looking into the past at the movements of our planet’s plates, and studying previous eruptions we can go some way to understanding the eruptions and earthquakes of the future.