Why is the epicenter more dangerous than the hypocenter?

Expert Answers
thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The epicenter receives the highest intensity of the earthquake because it lies directly above the point of focus or the hypocenter of the earthquake. However, this might not always be the case when the magnitude of the earthquake is very high. The magnitude and other geological factors will force the impact to spread around and greatly affect areas further away from the epicenter. The areas further away might be affected more than the epicenter. Thus, an explosion at the hypocenter will generate vibrating waves that may travel directly to the epicenter and cause much damage in that area or travel in all directions and reach different parts of the earth.

The epicenter can be termed as the most dangerous area during an earthquake. However, the situation may change depending on the magnitude and other geological conditions.