Earthquake Facts

  • Several million earthquakes occur every year. Most go unnoticed because they are very small, or because they occur in very remote areas. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that animals can predict earthquakes.
  • The moon does not influence earthquakes.
  • California is NOT going to fall into the ocean. The Pacific Plate and North American plates are moving sideways to one another. California earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault are strike-slip quakes. However, sometime in the very distant future, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be adjacent to each other.
  • There is no evidence that we are having any more or less earthquakes than in the past. If it seems like there are more, that is because areas that formerly were unpopulated now have people, and because sensitive instruments now can detect previously undetectable tremors.
  • Volcanos do not cause earthquakes. However, they often occur in the same areas because the same forces that cause volcanos (plate tectonics) also cause earthquakes.