Earthquakes and tsunamis

A massive earthquake hit Japan earlier today, registering 8.9 on the Richter scale and the largest ever recorded for Japan. The tsunami triggered by the quake brought a 10m high wall of water in northern Japan, and other countries are now waiting for it to hit their shores.

But what causes earthquakes and tsunamis and what can we do to protect ourselves from their destructive power? Michael McIntyre explains how earthquakes happen and how the oceans respond in his article Tsunami. We also report on how buildings can be designed to limit earthquake damage in Quake-proof, a news story from 2005. And Shane Latchman explores how we can predict the damage caused by these events in his article Modelling catastrophes.