In recent years, several earthquakes have devastated different parts of the globe. Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement along tectonic plates within the surface of earth. These movements release energy in the form of seismic waves that cause the earth's surface to shake. These geological events disrupt lives and economies, standing as stark reminders of the need for earthquake preparedness. Let's take a look at the top earthquake-prone countries across the world and understand their vulnerabilities.
The World's 10 Most Earthquake-prone Countries
Japan occupies a precarious position in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc characterized by fault lines and volcanic activity in the Pacific Ocean basin. This is the convergence of four tectonic plates: the Pacific, Philippine, Okhotsk, and Eurasian.
The primary reason behind Japan's seismic vulnerability is the collision and subduction of these tectonic slabs. The Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American Plate, creating deep ocean trenches and mountain ranges.
The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.1, triggered a devastating tsunami, claiming around 19,759 lives. The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, measuring magnitude 7, caused about 273 fatalities.