Why do earthquakes often cause damaging fires?
seismic waves can break gas lines water lines and electrical lines
Earthquakes cause direct damage when the seismic disturbance weakens and collapses buildings and other infrastructures not built to withstand the tremors. This often causes great loss of life. Other damage caused by earthquakes results from landslides, mudslides, avalanches, fires, soil liquefaction and tsunamis.
Earthquakes often break gas mains, causing flammable natural gas to fill damaged spaces. This easily catches fire from electrical sparks or automobiles. Power lines can cause fires due to damage by falling trees, buildings, and so on. Earthquakes destroy kitchens, throwing cooking fuel around in places where kerosene, butane, or alcohol are used for fuel. Earthquakes damage chimneys on homes and people unknowingly build fires which jump from damaged chimneys into attics and onto roofs…
Earthquakes do not cause fires, but they do rattle things around a lot. So if you have a fireplace or a furnace, the earthquake can rattle the coals out of the fireplace, or knock down your wood-burning stove. If you have natural gas or propane heating, the earthquake can break the gas pipe, allowing the gas to leak; if there's any kind of ignition source, this can cause a natural gas fire. In a severe…
Earthquakes can be very messy. Buildings collapse, and there are often fires because controlled fires such as those of a stove become uncontrolled when there is too much structural damage. Things stored in sealed containers can leak out. Pipes break. All of this leads to a certain amount of pollution.
Not usually. Although earthquakes often occur before a volcanic eruption, they are not the cause. The earthquakes are the result of magma (molten rock) moving underground leading up to an eruption. A few volcanic eruptions are thought to have been triggered or initiated by earthquakes, but this is not the typical case.
Earthquakes often cause gaslines to burst and electricity cables to fall. These (and the usual dropped candles, damaged heaters and simple arson) can result in fires that will cause massive further damage to any stricken area if they are not controlled e.g. parts of the city after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.