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An earthquake occurs when the crust of the earth trembles or shakes. Where the earth’s tectonic plates collide, huge amounts of
energy push rock against rock. In some places the plates slide over each other little by little, but in other places they get stuck.
For years, and even decades, the pressures pushing the plates build up. Then, quite suddenly, the pent-up energy is released. The
plates slip over each other sending shock waves of energy in all directions. When these waves reach the surface they are felt as
earthquakes. The force of an earthquake is measured on the Richter scale. Every point on the scale is a 10 fold increase on the point
The Mercalli scale can also be used to measure earthquakes but rather than force it measures the effects. The force of an earthquake
is recorded on a seismometer.