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Last Updated:18/03/2016
A shaking of the earth caused by a sudden movement of rock bneath the Earth's surface.
An earthquake occurs on a fault, which is a thin layer of crushed rock between two blocks of rock. A fault can range in length from a few centimeters to thousands of miles. Stresses in the earth's outer layer push the sides of the fault together. Stress builds up and the rocks slip suddenly, releasing energy in waves that travel through the rock to cause the shaking that we feel during an earthquake.