An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface. Earthquakes can occur at any time of the year.
This shaking can cause buildings and bridges to collapse; disrupt gas, electric and phone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods and fires as well as destructive ocean waves known as tsunamis.
Buildings with their foundation resting on unstable soil or areas that have been artificially filled with unconsolidated materials such as old waterways or landfills are most at risk. Fortunately there are no such areas in Goose Creek.
Buildings or trailers and manufactured homes not tied to a reinforced foundation that anchors them to the ground are also at risk since they can be shaken off their mountings during an earthquake.
The Richter magnitude scale was developed as a mathematical device to compare the size of earthquakes.
Earthquake Size and Force as Determined by the Richter Scale
Less than 3.5
Generally not felt, but recorded.
Often felt, but rarely causes damage.
May cause weak walls to crack and fall. Slight damage to well-designed buildings.
Can be destructive over small, populated areas.
Destructive earthquake. Can cause serious damage over larger areas.
8 or greater
Catastrophic earthquake. Can cause intense damage in areas several-hundred kilometers across.