What are earthquakes? What causes them? What should people do when earthquakes appear? There are lots of earthquake facts for kids that would educate them on the matter and give them the right tips to take when it comes to dealing with them.

What might cause an earthquake?
To understand the cause of any earthquake, people should first understand that the earth is made up of four layers: the inner core, the outer core, the mantle and the crust. The mantle and the crust are very thin; the mantle is 1,750 miles thick while the crust is only 8 miles thick. This thin skin is broken into pieces called tectonic plates, these plates are like puzzle pieces that sometimes slide under or against each other and become stuck. When these pieces slide apart, they create tremendous force that causes the earth to shake and ripple.

How are earthquakes measured? There are instruments called seismographs that are used to determine how large the earthquake was. These instruments are about a weighted pen and a spring and these help for when the vibrations from the earthquake appear, they make the pen draw lines onto some paper. The way these lines are drawn tell how small or big an earthquake is; if there is a short wiggly line that doesn't wiggle very much then it means a small earthquake and the long wiggly line that wiggles a lot means a large earthquake.

What is the Richter scale? Of course adults already know about the Richter scale and they know that it is used for measuring earthquakes, but kids might still not know about it. The Richter scale was invented back in 1934 by California scientist Charles Richter in order to measure the magnitude of an earthquake and the result is a number from 0 to 10; the larger the number on the scale, the larger the earthquake.

People might not even notice an earthquake unless it measures at least a 3 on the scale. There are different stages on this scale which tell people what they might expect: if the scale says 4 then the earthquake might shake the house and some people might not even notice. If the scale says 6 then the earthquake might cause cracks in some houses and the items on the shelves might fall down and windows might break. If the scale gives the number 7 then this means that old buildings might suffer from cracks and some streets might also deal with the same problem. If the scale gives the number 8 then people should know that many buildings and even bridges might fall down and crack. And finally if the scale gives the number 9 or even higher then a lot of losses might occur and lots of buildings might fall down.

What are seismic waves? Seismic waves are those shock waves from an earthquake that travel through the ground, these waves are most powerful at the center of the earthquake but they travel for much of the earth and back to the surface, these waves move quickly at 20 times quicker than the speed of sound.

What is a fault line? Earthquakes are formed along fault lines, this is an area of stress in the earth. At fault lines, the rocks are sliding past each other and will eventually cause a crack in the earth's surface.

What are foreshocks and aftershocks? Actually, before and after the large earthquakes, there are smaller earthquakes, the ones that happen before are known as foreshocks and the ones that happen after are called aftershocks. The main big earthquake is sometimes referred to as the main shock.

What are the epicenters and focus of earthquakes? The epicenter is the point on the earth's surface directly above where the rocks ruptured. The focus of the earthquake is where the rocks actually ruptured, the focus is often miles beneath the earth's surface.

What should people do in an earthquake? There are some instructions and tips given to people during an earthquake. During an earthquake, people should drop, cover and hold on. People should stay indoors until the shaking stops and if they are in bed they should hold on and stay there protecting their heads with a pillow. If people are outdoors, they should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and powerlines and then drop to the ground. If people are in a car, they should also find a safe place and stay in the car until the shaking ends.

There are other conditions and catastrophes that kids should be well aware of, such as volcanoes ( ), tsunamis ( ), tornadoes ( ) and thunder and lightning ( ); every single one of them is different than the other and is caused for different reasons and kids should know at least the most important of their causes and what they should do in such cases.

That's all what the kids should know about earthquakes at this point. Enjoy watching this video about earthquakes along with your kids and let us know about your feedback and let us know how much they liked it all!