Difference Between Volcanoes and Earthquakes

We live in a world that is prone to disasters. Most of these are man made but there some which are natural as well. The results of these disasters get worse due to the amount of construction we have done without considering the after effects.

Volcanoes and earthquakes are two such disasters. Both can cause severe damage in their own way and have effects on lives of people who are in the line of trouble. There are some clear differences between the two and have their own ways of affecting lives.

The earthquakes take place due to the movement of tectonic plates beneath the surface of the earth whereas the volcanoes take place when an active volcano gets conducive conditions to blast away and spew lava.

The earthquake is a sudden event. There are some indicators that have been pointed out but it will take more time to fully understand them. The volcano on the other hand gives clear indications before it erupts and there is a good amount of time that is available to people to move to safer places.

Earthquake takes place at all the places at the same time, with its impact at the places away from the centre of origin also very significant. The effects are instant whereas the volcano once it erupts flows down to area in its reach and the effects are not the same. It will damage areas nearby far more than those that are farther away from the centre.


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    It is the shaking of ground that takes place due to movements in the tectonic plates beneath the surface of the earth. The deeper it is, the less damage it is likely to cause and vice versa. The earthquake itself seldom kills the people but it is generally the structures that can hurt the most.

    It is important that structures are made in a way that they can protect against strong earthquakes to reduce the chances of any disaster.  There are areas that are more prone to earthquakes then others. They can take place under sea as well.

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    These take place as the magma, which also has molten rocks in it, either blasts out or simply starts to seep out of cracks in the structure holding it. There are obvious sign before an eruption and there is ample time for people to move out.

    It can take place under the sea as well. Once lava from the volcano passes through an area, it makes the land in that area very fertile. It does destroy most things in its path because of the high temperatures.

    Image Courtesy: news.discovery.com

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