VERIFY: Can hurricanes cause earthquakes?

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QUESTION:

Can hurricanes cause earthquakes?

ANSWER:

No, this is false.

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SOURCES:

National Hurricane Center (NOAA Communications Officer, Dennis Feltgen) , U.S. Geological Survey (Associate Program Michael Blanpied)

PROCESS:

WUSA9 Meteorologist, Topper Shutt, was asked the question “Can hurricanes cause earthquakes?” during a Facebook live session about Hurricanes Jose and Maria and following the deadly earthquake in Mexico on September 19.

National Hurricane Communications Officer, Dennis Feltgen said, “There is no scientific evidence that hurricanes cause earthquakes. Hurricanes are an atmospheric phenomenon while earthquakes are a geological phenomenon that are triggered miles beneath the earth's surface…. It won't trigger an earthquake.”

Verify researchers also spoke with Associate Program Coordinator of the United States Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program, Michael Blanpied, who explains, "Hurricanes are very dramatic at the surface, high wind speeds, large pressure changes, large amounts of rainfall.

But the depths at which earthquakes occur are fairly immune to those things that are happening at the atmosphere on the surface."

According to the National Hurricane Center, the number of hurricanes to strike the United States, is 18 hurricanes per decade and there’s been 7 earthquakes in the past century that have occurred with magnitudes seven and above. To learn more information about the history of earthquakes in the U.S., click here.