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Earthquakes: What You Should Know
Why talk about earthquakes?
Earthquakes strike suddenly and without warning. They can occur throughout the year at any time of day or night. Each year 70-75 damaging earthquakes occur around the world. In Maine we experience an average of 5 earthquakes per year.
Forty-five states and territories in the United States are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes. Maine is classified as a moderate risk state.
How can I protect myself in an earthquake?
Ground vibrations during an earthquake are seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects caused by the ground shaking. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified, because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a few feet during the shaking.
Much of the damage caused by earthquakes is predictable and preventable. We must all work together in our communities to apply our knowledge to enact and enforce up-to-date building codes, and avoid building in hazardous areas, such as those prone to landslides. We must also look for and eliminate hazards at home. We must also learn and practice what to do if an earthquake occurs.
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