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Water pipes tend to fracture or crack when an earthquake occurs rather than burst (something bursts when the pressure applied to it's internal surface gets to large and exceeds the strength of the material is is formed from - a bit like if you force to much air into a balloon).

Pipes tend to fracture because the seismic waves make the ground move up and down, backwards and forwards and side to side. This causes the pipe to be bent in differing directions as well as being squashed and stretched. These compression, shear tensile and torsion force will, if they are large enough, create stresses within the pipe wall that are large enough to break it, forming a crack.

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Q: Why do water pipes burst during earthquakes?
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