Walking while holding a hot drink comes with a hazard – spilling it on the floor and yourself. But this relatively everyday activity can also teach us about a far larger natural hazard too.
Earthquakes occur when tectonic plate boundaries suddenly move, grinding against each other as huge amounts of tension stored in them is released.
The resulting shaking can vary from simply rattling a few plates and sending ornaments spilling off shelves to the floor, to bringing entire buildings crashing to the ground.
But in even the biggest earthquakes some buildings escape relatively unscathed. When Mexico City was hit by a magnitude eight earthquake in 1985, around 412 multi-storey buildings collapsed.