An earthquake is caused by the sudden release of a large quantity of energy accumulated by rocks subjected to the pressures of continental drifts.
This potential elastic energy becomes kinetic elastic energy, exceeding the stress threshold.
Earthquakes can also be caused by volcanic activities…
Seismic waves travel through the Earth towards the surface and then into the atmosphere, compressing it.
This compression is the cause of the typical roar. Here is an example of a similar chain of events: take a wooden stick. Curve it until it breaks (crossing the stress threshold). The noise generated as the stick breaks is caused by the pressure of the released energy on the air around it.
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