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An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock. Initial mild shaking may strengthen and become extremely strong within seconds. Additional earthquakes, called aftershocks, may occur for hours, days, or even months. Most are smaller than the initial earthquake, but larger magnitude aftershocks can also occur. Earthquakes can cause power outages or tsunamis. Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and occur without warning.
Massachusetts is located in a moderate earthquake zone. Although these quakes typically cause only insignificant or mild damage, larger earthquakes are possible, and could cause serious damage to buildings and public infrastructure. Because of this, it is important to know some simple safety rules if the ground begins to shake.
During an earthquake, drop to the ground, cover your head and neck with your arms and, if possible, a sturdy piece of furniture, and try to hold on until the shaking stops.
Before an Earthquake
The steps you should take during an earthquake depend on your location.
After an Earthquake