Earthquake risk depends on where you are. The damage an earthquake can cause depends both on this and on the conditions existent where the earthquake occurred.

The high risk areas are in red. Earthquakes tend to focus around plate boundaries. Additionally, convergent margins tend to have deep-focus earthquakes, while transform or divergent boundaries have shallow-focus earthquakes. This is due to the cause of earthquakes at each of these margins. Along convergent margins, earthquakes occur along the bottom of the descending plate, while along other margins, earthquakes focus in the shallow part of the brittle rock zone. Earthquake effects are of six principal kinds:  two primary (ground motion, faulting), and four secondary, causing indirect damage (fire, mass wasting, liquefaction and tsunami).  Ground motion results from the movement of seismic waves, especially surface waves, while faulting can literally break the ground apart.

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