In dramatic action movies, we sometimes see how a huge earthquake destroys entire country.
Whole countries sink beneath the ocean and mountains appear from the bottom of the sea. How realistic is this devastating scenario? Could a mega earthquake really sink a whole country?
Could A Huge Earthquake Sink A Whole Country?
People who live in geologically active regions of the world, like for example the Ring of Fire where frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur, are naturally worried. In California and Tokyo people fear the “Big One”, a super quake that will cause the land to break off and sink into the ocean.
There is no doubt that mega earthquakes are horrible natural disasters. Lives are lost, buildings are destroyed, but a giant earthquake can never sink a whole country.
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More Cool Science Facts
On May 22, 1966, Chile experienced the largest ever recorded earthquake. Known as the 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean earthquake, the temblor of magnitude 9.5 caused substantial damage and loss of life both in that country. The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia and the Aleutian Islands.
Did you know that most of the active volcanoes on Earth are located underwater, along the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean?
When an earthquake occurs near a coast, it will cause a tsunami, which can flood the land and make it seem like the country has sunk into the sea. However, eventually water will recede, and sea levels won’t change.
In 365 A.D, a powerful megathrust quake struck near the island of Crete. It did destroy almost all towns and settlement on the island. Instead of sinking the land, it lifted it the land nearly 30 feet (9 m) higher.
So it may sound odd, but instead of sinking land, megathrust quakes actually lift the land instead.