The epicenter of an earthquake is the place on the Earth’s surface directly above the focus or hypocenter, the place inside the earth where the quake originates. Earthquake foci are usually somewhere between the surface and 100 km in depth. In some areas, however, the foci may be as deep as 700 km.

Maps of earthquake epicenters show that most earthquakes have occurred in certain well-defined regions of the Earth. Because these regions tend to be relatively long and narrow, they are sometimes referred to as earthquake belts.

One large belt of epicenters run through the Mediterranean Sea, Asia Minor, and the Himalayan Mountains and into the eastern Indian Ocean. A second large belt runs northwards through the western Pacific Ocean, the Japanese Islands, the Aleutian Islands and the west coasts of North and South America. The longest belt of earthquake epicenters runs through the central regions of most ocean basins.

Source: ODPEM

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