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An earthquake is the sudden release of stored energy; most earthquakes occur along a fracture within the earth, called a fault.
The shaking caused by this sudden shift is often very small, but occasionally large earthquakes produce very strong ground shaking. It is this strong shaking and its consequences – ground failure, landslides, liquefaction – that damages buildings and structures and upsets the regional economy.
Washington, especially the Puget Sound basin, has a history of frequent earthquakes. More than 1,000 earthquakes occur in the state each year. A dozen or more are strong enough that people feel ground shaking; occasionally, earthquakes cause damage.
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Don't know anything about a topic? Start here and find some general articles to get you started. This is suitable for upper elementary and older, as it does not include pictures.
Science Reference Center
Topics covered include biology, chemistry, earth & space science, environmental science, health & medicine, history of science, life science, physics, science & society, science as inquiry, scientists, technology and wildlife. Content is correlated to state and national curriculum standards.