• Alejandro Monjarretz

Earthquake Myths

There are many myths that people say about earthquakes, but which are true?


People believe different myths about earthquakes depending on where they live. A couple of weeks ago, Nicaragua was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8. After the earthquake, I started hearing my family and other people talking about earthquake myths and I heard some interesting ones, which led me to ask myself if those myths were true?


The first myth is that the safest place to be during an earthquake is under a doorway. This myth is half true. If you live in a house with an older structure, it will be the safest place. If you live in a house with a modern structure, the doorway is as strong as the rest of the house so it doesn’t make sense.

People go to the doorway in an earthquake. image taken from deviantart.com


One of the most popular myths is that dogs can sense when an earthquake is going to strike. But science hasn't proven this theory so the myth for the moment is false. There are some studies that show how animals from farms can feel the change of signals and can anticipate the quakes.


Another myth that people talk about is that small earthquakes prevent big ones from happening. This myth is also half correct. The smaller earthquakes release the stress from the fault line so it will take more time for a bigger earthquake to happen, but it will happen sooner or later.


There are many myths about earthquakes that are told from generation to generation but we shouldn’t trust every myth we hear. The truth is, we don’t know when another earthquake will hit. What we do know is what to do about it: don’t run, don’t push, don’t yell. Take cover and go to an open area once the earthquake stops. Wait at least 20 minutes to go back in, if it was a strong earthquake.

Fault lines around the world. Image taken from universetoday.com


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