Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Each year, there are about 500,000 earthquakes in the world that can be detected with instruments. About 100,000 of those can be felt, and 100 of them cause damage.

Alaska gets the largest number of earthquakes in the United States. Florida and North Dakota are the states with the smallest number of earthquakes.

What to do in an Earthquake

Learn what to do during an earthquake, whether you're at home or school.

If there's an earthquake

  • drop to the floor
  • take cover under a sturdy desk or table
  • hold on to it firmly.

Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

Near the outside walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be.

Stay inside if you are inside. Stay outside if you are outside.

If you are in bed, hold on and stay there. Protect your head with a pillow.

If you are outdoors, move to a clear area if you can.

Stay away from power lines, trees, signs, buildings, cars, and trucks.


Diagram showing how tsunamis are formed

An earthquake may cause a tsunami. A tsunami is a series of ocean waves caused by an earthquake, landslide, or volcano. The waves can come ashore as fast moving walls of water.

If you are near the beach during an earthquake:

  • Drop, cover, and hold on until the shaking stops.
  • If severe shaking lasts 20 seconds or more, get to high ground.

Move inland 2 miles or to land that is at least 100 feet above sea level right away.

Don't wait for officials to issue a warning.

Earthquakes for Kids— Latest quakes, earthquake facts, puzzles and more!

Learning About Tsunamis — Basic Information

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