Pitara Kids Network

How do Earthquakes Happen?

Simply put, the shaking of the earth caused by a sudden shifting of rocks below its surface, is called an earthquake. The earths crust or outermost layer, is not made of one single piece of solid rock. It is actually made up of independent sheets of rocks called tectonic plates.

The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century.

These plates slide against each other, giving rise to physical changes in the earths topography. The places where these tectonic plates meet each other, are called fault lines.

How do Earthquakes Happen? [Illustration by Madhumita]

To understand what happens when two plates slide against each other, try out this experiment:

That sudden jerk and breaking away of the thermocol is the earthquake. That’s just what happens along a fault.