Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hey There! Welcome To Life Noggin! In 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded hit Chile, with a magnitude of a whopping 9.5. An earthquake that strong releases as much energy as 27 trillion kilograms of explosives! That's a lot of power, but how much damage can an earthquake do? Let's start with a quick course in Earthquakes 101. These natural phenomena occur when two pieces of the Earth's crust called tectonic plates slide past each other. When this happens, pent up energy from inside the Earth suddenly bursts out in all directions. The Earth cracks and shakes everything on top. Earthquakes used to be measured on the Richter Scale, but now they use the Moment Magnitude Scale to designate a magnitude level for each quake between 1 and 10. There are about half a million detectable earthquakes every year all over the world, but most of them aren't even felt and only about 100 of them actually cause damage. But when they do, they can flip the world upside down for that area. Not literally, but you know what I mean. Earthquakes can strike any area at any time and there's absolutely no way to predict them. Since people can't prepare their families, their homes, or their businesses, earthquakes can cause serious damage out of nowhere. As soon as an earthquake hits, buildings can topple, bridges can collapse, gas lines can explode, and water and sewer pipes can burst.. This immediate damage can be catastrophic and deadly but the mayhem's not over yet. Earthquakes can cause secondary effects like tsunamis, landslides, and fires. And, there's also the aftershocks. They can happen right after an earthquake or occur weeks, months, or even years later. These secondary effects account for 40% of economic losses and deaths, so they shouldn't be taken lightly. Major illnesses can also arise from earthquakes, from things like burst pipes and poor sanitation. Even if a region is reeling from Mother Nature's fury, illnesses like respiratory tract infections, water-borne diseases and wound infections can ravage the area. The massive 2010 Haitian earthquake brought back the disease Cholera to a region that hadn't seen it in 100 years. The amount of physical and bodily damage from an earthquake depends on a lot of factors. Time of day, time of year, population, building style, climate, and location. A major, oceanfront city struck by a magnitude 7 earthquake during rush hour in the middle of the winter would theoretically cause a lot more damage, injury, and death than a similar earthquake in the middle of nowhere at the crack of dawn on a summer day. But, more isolated areas typically don't have the communication systems or emergency responders to handle disasters as effectively as more populated regions. Architects in places that are prone to earthquakes design their buildings to withstand the seismic waves that come with quakes. Buildings sway as this energy makes its way through the structure, which could lead you to believe that a skyscraper would be susceptible to more damage than a regular height building, but you'd be wrong. Taller structures are actually more flexible and can bounce back from the waves easier. Just like you can when you sway with a moving train or boat, rather than standing straight and rigid. All these factors play a part in how much damage an earthquake causes. And the cost of this damage can add up quickly. 2011 was one of the years with the worst financial losses caused by earthquakes on record. A whopping $365 billion dollars worth of damage. Are there any other natural disasters you want us to cover? Let us know in the comment section below. curious to know how our monuments like the statue of liberty will last over time? check out this video! The monument's insides are made of iron, kind of like a skeleton, so that it can withstand strong winds. Fun fact: the outside copper layer is only as thick as putting two pennies together! as always, my name is Blocko. This has been Life Noggin! Don't forget to keep on thinking!