As I read about the strong aftershock following the 9.0 Japan earthquake, I was interested to see that it lasted about 1 minute. Watching some video of office workers in Tokyo holding on to their computer equipment to keep it from tumbling over, I was impressed by how very long the quake seemed to last. As I thought about the earthquakes I have experienced, I realized that most seemed to last for less than 30 seconds. This cause me to ask myself, "How long does and earthquake usually last?"
Here are some of the interesting answers that I found in my web search (as usual, the answer seems to be "it depends" and "it can vary widely"):
Is it really helpful to know how long an earthquake may last? Well, if you are not used to experiencing earthquakes, it may indeed be helpful to have an idea of how long any given quake can last. For one thing, it can reduce the shock of the experience to realize that the quake may last longer than just a few seconds. It amy also help in making key decisions and judgements about how to respond to the earthquake.
The bottom line, is that earthquakes are destructive and can last well beyond just a few seconds of shaking. So if you live in earthquake country (and many more of us do than actually realize that fact) be prepared for an earthquake with the right understanding of what to do in an earthquake and with an earthquake survival kit.
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