What is 'Ring of Fire' and how does it trigger earthquakes?

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Web Desk
Taiwan is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire. — Global Rescue
Taiwan is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire. — Global Rescue

Several people have died while over 700 others have been injured after a major 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook Taiwan on Wednesday, CNN reported.

This is the strongest earthquake to rattle the region in 25 years, which has buildings tilted at precarious angles in the mountainous, sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien, near the epicentre.

Taiwan has been hit with earthquakes several times because it is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

But what is the "Ring of Fire" and why is it the reason behind frequent earthquakes in the region?

Well, the Ring of Fire is an area where the world’s most active volcanoes are found and where most earthquakes occur.

It triggers earthquakes after tectonic plates push against each other, causing sudden releases of energy that produce tremors, putting people living nearby at risk from volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Ring of Fire is an area where the world’s most active volcanoes are found. — CNN via USGS
Ring of Fire is an area where the world’s most active volcanoes are found. — CNN via USGS

The "ring" extends over a 25,000-mile arc, starting from the Pacific Plate's edge and continuing to smaller plates such as the Philippine Sea plate, to the Cocos and Nazca Plates that border the Pacific Ocean.

Places that lie along the Ring of Fire, include Chile, Japan, the West Coast of the United States, and other island nations — including the Solomon Islands to the western seaboard of North and South Americas.