Segments in this Video

Long and Deadly Earthquakes (02:46)


The Good Friday Earthquake is one of the longest recorded earthquakes in history. The San Francisco earthquake was much more deadly; the resulting destruction destroyed the city.

San Fernando Earthquake (01:50)

One of the most studied earthquakes, although not the most deadly or destructive, this earthquake almost destroyed the dam.

How Earthquakes Are Formed (04:13)

Earthquakes are created when tectonic plates hit each other as they move. Waves are sent out from these points of impact and the long waves are what we see on the ground.

Underwater Earthquakes (01:42)

Submarine earthquakes can create large waves, tsunamis, that can tear apart cities by the time they reach shore. One of these quakes caused the Boxing Day Tsunami, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.

Measuring Earthquakes (02:19)

The seismograph was relied upon to get accurate measurements of the strength of an earthquake. In the 1930s, Charles Richter invented the Richter scale, a more accurate way of measuring an quake.

Chilean Earthquake - May 22 1960 (01:37)

See archival footage of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, which included deadly aftershocks. It created tsunamis that impacted many other regions.

Fault Lines (02:09)

Most earthquakes occur around the Ring of Fire. Southern California is most hit by earthquakes because of the San Andreas Fault.

Volcanic Eruptions (01:35)

The eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State was caused by seismic activity. The volcano erupted, and a landslide slid down the volcano, destroying everything in its path.

Good Friday Earthquake (02:54)

One of the most powerful recorded earthquakes occurred in Alaska. The death toll was high, but not from the quake. The after effects--tsunamis, avalanches, and landslides--caused the high death toll.

Mexico City Earthquake (03:45)

This quake resulted in a large death toll because the buildings were not built correctly. Mexico City is built on an old lake and the ground is not stable.

Loma Prieta Earthquake (01:54)

This quake is one of the most expensive earthquakes. A majority of fatalities from this earthquake were caused when roadways and bridges collapsed, crushing everything underneath them.

1989 San Francisco Earthquake (03:27)

This earthquake saw buildings collapse because of liquefaction of the soil. This earthquake was so costly, President Bush created a fund to help rebuild the area.

Northridge Earthquake (02:53)

This 1994 quake was completely unpredictable. It started on a fault line that scientists did not know existed, and it came with no warning.

Predicting Northridge (02:12)

Scientists could not predict this earthquake, so it was impossible to issue a warning. That could have increased the death toll but it fell on a national holiday, so many people were not in town.

Earthquake Planning (02:14)

Architects are trying to replicate the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and create incredibly strong and resistant buildings that can survive earthquakes. Earthquake safety is extremely important and taught in areas prone to earthquakes.

Advances in Earthquake Technology (03:59)

Emergency services have advanced the ways that they find people that have been trapped and these advances have led to more survivors. Prediction advances have been made by studying activity around major faults.

Conclusion: When America Shook: The World's Worst Disasters (02:04)

Past earthquakes have been devastating, but one predicted to hit California could be the most devastating yet.

Credits: When America Shook: The World's Worst Disasters (00:50)

Credits: When America Shook: The World's Worst Disasters

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When America Shook: The World's Worst Disasters

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This program examines some of the more notable earthquakes to have struck America, including one of the world’s best known disasters, the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Everyone knows that San Francisco could be hit by yet another even-more-devastating earthquake at any time. But no one knows when. Los Angeles (San Francisco’s west coast neighbor) is also constantly at risk, as are any number of smaller communities in the region. The reason is that they all sit on a 500-mile-long notorious geological fault line called the San Andreas Fault. Other parts of America have also been hit by earthquakes, in particular Alaska, which, in March 1964, experienced the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. history and one of the greatest of the 20th century anywhere in the world. Further South, 8.000 people perished when, in September 1985, a massive earthquake devastated Mexico City. A BBC Production.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL95238

ISBN: 978-1-68272-432-3

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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