Earth Science - Other

Natural Disaster Myths

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Many myths about earthquakes are believed to be true. Fictional tales
continue to be past down through the ages. There are many false beliefs that are literally unbeknown to the people who believe in them Believing untrue statements about natural disasters can be life threatening to you, and your family if you act on those myths as being true. For instance, like standing in a doorway area while an earthquake is happening. That is a myth that could put your life in danger. There are many other types of myths that are thought to be true. We will shed light on fact verses fiction in regards to
earthquake myths.

Earthquake weather precedes earthquakes? Myth.
This false belief dates back to ancient historical writings where Aristotle in the 4th
century B.C., theorized that in subterranean caves the wind trapped in the caverns roofs caused earthquakes. It was assumed that small tremors
were the result of air pushing against the cavern roofs and that big earthquakes were from a lot of air trying to escape to the surface. As a result of this belief people begin to believe that when the weather was very hot on a calm day that an earthquake would result. Many other weather predictions / myths have arose, to be rejected by geologists. Even more, geologists continue to state that there is no such thing as weather related earthquakes.
Even though they state the facts the myth continues to be held in high belief. Scientist have studied weather in all varies climate zones, seasons and at different times of the day. Their report is that there is no connection between weather and earthquakes period.

Weather cannot effect the tectonic plates that are many miles beneath the surface of the earth. Instead it is caused by the tectonic plates grinding, and scraping against each other.

Head for a doorway during an earthquake. False Belief. This advice was once recommended because of the reports of people from Turkey and other neighboring countries because their door frames were left standing when the rest of the house collapsed during an earthquake.

Fact: The door frame remained standing because the homes in question were made of mud or other natural material that was weak while the doorway and frame were constructed out of wood. Therefore, it gave an illusion to the rest of the world that standing in the doorway would be the safest place to be during an earthquake. Furthermore,
it is best to get under a table and covering your head.

During an earthquake the ground can split open and swallow up everything in its path. Myth: The earth can not split open and take people, vehicles, and buildings. That false perception, or idea is best left for fiction based movies.

Fact: Earthquakes can produce small crevices but not large, wide gaps.
California is going to split off and fall into the ocean. Myth.
The State of California will not fall into the ocean.

Fact: The Pacific plates are moving horizontally (parallel). One moving northward and the other southward and not in a way to cause California to break off into the ocean. An earthquake can cause unstable ground, and landslides that can cause total destruction but nothing so severe as to break off the whole state of California. Furthermore, there is evidence that over millions of year pieces of rock will erode not only this state, but all land mass.

Earthquakes happen at a certain time of the day. False. Earthquakes do not have anything to do with time and can happen at any time of the day or night.

Fact: Scientist can not predict with accuracy when an earthquake will hit or the exact location. Their data can only predict that an earthquake is likely to occur but not the time, date, or exact location.

You can plan for an earthquake.
Myth. You can not plan for the exact time, or day that an earthquake will hit. We have to carry on with our lives. Scientists' data cannot determine the exact moment of an earthquake. You will not be able to determine where you will be, or who with, or what year or time it will be when an earthquake occurs.

True. That you can think ahead by making sure you have a first aid kit and to have an emergency plan for your family. Update the families emergency procedures and the first aid kit when need be. If you live in the State of California, or Alaska where earthquakes happen more frequently than it would be a wise investment to take a class on earthquake preparedness, first aid, and CPR training.

References / Resources
Myth of Earthquake Weather

Safe Place Myth

The Biggest Ideas

California Tectonic Plates

More about this author: Kimberly Bunch

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