I am doing sound design for a friend of mine’s graduation film. A few weeks ago we had a foley session to make an earthquake for one of the scenes. We got pretty good results from it!
What we did is to place a microphone under the drum and do what you see on the video, that gave us some strong (and a bit loud but manageable) rumble for the base of the earthquake, and we also put a shotgun mic overhead to get some of the higher pitched sounds.
For the final result we added wood and apple cracking on top of the mix to get the effect of the ground breaking. You’d be surprised how great apples can simulate a cracking sound!
His film will be finished soon, and he might let me post it here once the submission to festivals is done.