An earthquake is the shaking or trembling of the earth’s surface, caused by the sudden movement of a part of the earth’s crust. The majority of earthquake occur at the point junction of major tectonic plates. The highly active regions are Pacific rim belt, Alpine belt , along oceanic ridges. The distribution is summarised as under:
The most important earthquake belt is the Circum-Pacific Belt, which affects many populated coastal regions around the Pacific Ocean—for example, those of New Zealand, New Guinea, Japan, the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and the western coasts of North and South America.
A second belt, known as the Alpine Belt (Himalayas and Alps). The energy released in earthquakes from this belt is about 15 percent of the world total. The mid-world mountain belt (Alpine Belt) extends parallel to the equator from Mexico across the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea from Alpine-Caucasus ranges’ to the Caspian, Himalayan mountains and the adjoining lands. This zone has folded mountains, large depressions and active volcanoes.
There also are striking connected belts of seismic activity, mainly along oceanic ridges—including those in the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the western Indian Ocean—and along the rift valleys of East Africa.
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