How To Prevent Earthquakes

How can we prevent earthquake?

in this question i am asking ways to prevent earthquake and damage caused by it.

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The above answers are certainly correct in terms of out not being able to prevent earthquakes from taking place.  In fact, our ability to even predict them still seems quite primitive.  The most advanced models of earthquake warnings now discussed say they may be able to give us a few minutes warning. And while this is a good thing, it just shows how little we really understand earthquakes in general and what causes them.

One exception though is that it may be actually possible for a human-induced earthquake to occur.  During the Cold War, the Soviet Union experimented with disposing high level radioactive and toxic waste deep into fault lines in the Earth.  Scientists noticed a marked uptick in tremors, and theorized that they were essentially lubricating sliding tectonic plates.  So we can prevent extra Earthquakes perhaps by not injecting waste into the fault lines.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Earthquakes are catastrophic phenomenon caused by abrupt shifts in the earth's rock along fault lines. There is no way to prevent these occurrences.

There are several ways that we try to minimize the damage to buildings and structures that fall victim to earthquakes, the biggest way is in the engineering of the structures. The biggest threat to buildings from earthquakes is the fact that the earth shifts. Architects and engineers take this into account when designing structures in areas prone to earthquakes. One of the first structural components is to design and build the foundation of the structure so it will "move" with the moving earth. Some sources call this "floating" foundations. Materials are used that have the ability to move ever so slightly, they move or float when the earth underneath is disrupted.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no way to prevent earthquakes from happening.  Since they are caused by the movements of plates that make up the Earth's crust, they cannot be prevented by any means that human beings now have available to them.

What we can do is to try to make earthquakes less damaging.  Countries that get a lot of earthquakes and are relatively rich have building codes that require buildings to be made in ways that allow them to survive earthquakes.  The main way of doing this is to require that the buildings be made so that they can flex and twist in earthquakes.  Buildings that are stiff, no matter how strong, are much more likely to break when stressed by an earthquake.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An earthquake is a disaster that is not preventable and they are beyond the control of man. There are different types of earthquakes such as tectonic earthquakes and volcanic earthquakes. Tectonic earthquakes occur when rocks in the earths crust break apart. Volcanic earthquakes occur when there is volcanic activity.

There are ways to lessen damage that can occur when there is an earthquake. Buildings can be constructed that are more likely to be able to withstand the shaking of an earthquake. Earthquakes can also cause fires and flooding so the damage that they create is not from damaged buildings alone.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Earthquakes are major and powerful natural occurrences. There is no existing way available to human beings to prevent occurrences of earthquakes, or event predict with much accuracy the likelihood of occurrence of earthquake at a particular place and time.

All that people can do about the earth quake is to take precautions to reduce the destructive impact of earthquakes when they do take place. These kind of precautions are particularly applicable do design and constructions of buildings and other structures. There are many different specialized techniques available to prevent or, at least, reduce the damage to structures by earthquakes. The basic principle involved in these techniques is to build the structure in such a way to reduce the  disturbances caused in one part of the structure being transmitted to the other parts. This itself can be achieved in different ways like isolating different parts from each other and building in some kind of flexibility in the structures.

phinp | Student

The best way to prevent earthquake is is go some where which is flat which means to go somewhere where no trees and buildings . Japan is a place of earthquake so the people start to make ceilings made up Thermocol so thier are safe

isoptera | Student

Earthquake protection of buildings by a double concrete slab foundation.

by Charles Weber, MS


1908 Country Club Road, Hendersonville, NC 28739



Protection of buildings by double slab construction with lubricant in between and centered by springs.

Keywords: slab; concrete; earthquake; spring; oil; construction; base isolation

*Corresponding author.


I have a suggestion that is applicable to earthquake damage control. Buildings are very strong in vertical compression. I believe it is side to side motion that is ruinous. So if a thick reinforced slab were first poured and covered with grease or oil before the actual building concrete basement floor were poured, I suspect it would eliminate side to side motion during an earthquake. Of course it would be necessary to have some kind of spring or air piston on the sides to prevent wind motion.

Construction as described in patents US6289640 B1 and US4599834 A work on the same principle of sliding surfaces as my invention but are elaborate and expensive to construct. JP2003301625 A is only for small light buildings.


A building protected as above would have no covalent or valence bond links to the ground and no support from earth on the sides to support the building. So very tall buildings would seem to be vulnerable to toppling. However, in addition to the weight of the building and the weight of the upper slab, the atmosphere is pressing down with a pressure about one ton per square foot because the interface is effectively sealed. Thus there is no chance at all that a three story building would topple nor even a six story building. If the slabs were extended out to the sides and the upper one suitably thick and reinforced and buttressed, much greater than six story buildings should be safe as well. Even much higher buildings yet should be safe if the side retaining springs are attached high up.

Making the upper slab thick would give the structure desirable added inertia. This would be inexpensive to achieve because the upper slab would not have to be smooth on top. Therefore, boulders could be incorporated into it.

The primary consideration would be to use an oil with a very low viscosity, since viscosity of the oil is undoubtedly the primary resistance to the top slab trying to follow the bottom slab. A silicone oil is probably the oil of choice for most buildings because of its resistance to change from temperature. Silicone coated river sand might work well also for low buildings.

An advantage of this procedure is that it would require less skilled workers and less maintenance than other methods. One big advantage of this procedure is that it should be fairly easy to retrofit existing buildings, because it should be possible to underpin a few hundred square feet at a time. When building new, making the bottom slab a little concave upward would probably make less stiff side springs possible and somewhat easier to return the building to its original position. This is because as the building moves sidewise it would require energy to move slightly upward and less energy for the springs or other devices to move it back.

I had a patent pending for this procedure. However, it had to be abandoned in view of a similar patent awarded in France in 1987.