- from Earthquakes
Weather forecasters can usually tell if it’s going to be cold tomorrow.
However, they’d have a much harder time saying when the next earthquake will strike. Even so, we can predict some things about earthquakes. One way to know what’s coming is to know an area’s history. But the Earth’s history goes back way more years than human records do. So seismologists are always looking for the signs that come before an earthquake. Some examples are strange animal behavior and foreshocks, or small tremors that happen before big ones. Sometimes the amount of radon (a radioactive gas) in well water rises.
These signs help, but it’s still hard to tell when an earthquake is going to hit and how strong it will be. Most seismologists say it’s best to build with earthquakes in mind. That’s especially important in places where they are likely to happen. Earthquake-resistant buildings have columns that run in one piece from the ground to the roof. Brick walls are reinforced. Slightly flexible materials, such as steel, let a building sway and bend a little without falling.