THE Earth’s rocky outer layer is divided into large sections known as tectonic plates. These are separated by fractures known as faults.

An earthquake, or seismic tremor, is caused when there is a build up of stress along a fault and rocks crack or slip past each other.

Energy is then released in seismic waves which cause the ground to shake.

The point on the Earth’s surface directly above the focal point of the earthquake is called the epicentre.