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Earthquake epicenters occur mostly along tectonic plate boundaries, and especially on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities. The seismicity, or seismic activity, of an area is the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. The word tremor is also used for non-earthquake seismic rumbling.

At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and displacing or disrupting the ground. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, and occasionally volcanic activity.

Selected article

A map of the region where the earthquake occurred.
The July 2006 Java earthquake was a magnitude 7.7 earthquake off the southwestern coast of Java, Indonesia. It occurred on July 17, 2006, at 08:24 UTC (15:24 local time).

The U.S. Geological Survey placed the epicentre of the quake at 9°17′42″S 107°20′49″E / 9.295°S 107.347°E / -9.295; 107.347, and its hypocentre at a depth of 48.6 km below the seabed. This is 225 km (140 miles) NE of Christmas Island, 240 km (150 miles) SSW of Tasikmalaya, Indonesia, and 358 km (222 miles) S of Jakarta, the capital and largest city of Indonesia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey:

"The earthquake occurred as a result of thrust-faulting on the boundary between the Australia plate and the Sunda plate. On this part of their mutual boundary, the Australia plate moves north-northeast with respect to the Sunda plate at about 59 mm/year. The Australia plate thrusts beneath the Sunda plate at the Java trench, south of Java, and is subducted to progressively greater depths beneath Java and north of Java. The earthquake occurred on the shallow part of the plate boundary, about 50 km north of the Java trench."

Did you know...

  • ...that the 1946 Nankaido earthquake caused a 5-6 meter (16-20 feet) tsunami that took out another 2,100 homes after the initial destruction of the earthquake?
  • ...that the 2003 Hokkaido earthquake was not given a cost in US dollars because it occurred offshore and did not cause as much damage as it would have on the mainland of Japan?


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WikiProject Earthquakes is the central point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of earthquakes, seismology, tsunamis, and related subjects. Please feel free to join and help!

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