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Fri, 29 May 2020
The World for People who Think



Strong shallow 6.3-magnitude earthquake hits equator in the Atlantic, no tsunami threat

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck along the equator in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday afternoon, but it hit well off the coast of Africa and north of Ascension Island, seismologists say. No tsunami warnings have been issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 4:08 p.m. GMT on Wednesday, was centered along the equator in the Atlantic Ocean, about 755 kilometers (469 miles) northeast of Ascension Island, which is part of the United Kingdom, or 858 kilometers (533 miles) southwest of Liberia.

Seismologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.3, down from an initial estimate of 6.5. They said it struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) below the seabed, making it a very shallow earthquake.


Earthquake of magnitude 6 strikes off Samoa - USGS

earthquake graph
© Flickr/ Matt Katzenberger
An earthquake of magnitude 6 struck off the Pacific island nation of Samoa on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in the quake, which the agency said hit at a depth of 89 km (55 miles) about 169 km (105 miles) southwest of the capital of Apia.

Reporting by Clarence Fernandez; Editing by Tom Hogue


6.4 magnitude earthquake hits off Vanuatu coast

An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck roughly 54 km from the coast of Vanuatu around 2:00 p.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter, with a depth of 226.08 km, was initially determined to be at 19.0408 degrees south latitude and 169.4528 degrees east longitude.

About 12 hours earlier, a smaller magnitude 4.5 tremor hit roughly 91 km off Vanuatu's coast.

No tsunami warning has been issued for either incident so far.


Etna volcano erupts again, magnitude 3.3 earthquake also reported

A new eruption of the Etna volcano, accompanied by increased seismic activity, has been detected by specialists of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy.

According to scientists, there was a magnitude 3.3 earthquake in the province of Catania on the east coast of Sicily on Friday night.

The epicentre was 9 km deep. Felt in Milo, Zafferana Etnea and Sant'Alfio.

There are no reports of casualties and destruction.


'This is surprising': Researchers find California quakes have awakened quiet fault line

Garlock fault
© Screenshot/Courtesy of Planet Labs Inc
The 160-mile-long Garlock fault that runs northeast-southwest along the Mojave Desert in Southern California has begun moving for the first time on record, according to a study published Thursday by Caltech scientists and based on new satellite radar images.

"This is surprising, because we've never seen the Garlock fault do anything. Here, all of a sudden, it changed its behavior," lead author of the study Zachary Ross, an assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech, is quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times. "We don't know what it means."
According to the scientists, a portion of the fault has shifted about 0.8 inches since July, when two earthquakes took place in the region. The 6.4-magnitude tremor that struck 122 miles northeast of Los Angeles on July 4 was followed one day later by a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake that caused a fissure within the Little Lake fault zone in Southern California's Indian Wells Valley area.

Comment: New theory to explain the San Adreas fault - zipper fault


San Francisco shaken by dozens of earthquakes - is a major seismic event in the offing?

houses san francisco hill

Time running out for San Francisco?
Seismic activity in California appears to be heating up again. Could it be possible that the swarm of earthquakes that has hit San Francisco over the past couple of days is a precursor to a larger seismic event? The California coastline sits directly along the infamous "Ring of Fire", and scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before "the Big One" hits the state. Of course most of the time when we talk about "the Big One", most people immediately envision a geography-altering earthquake in southern California, and we have been warned repeatedly that such an event is coming someday. However, northern California is quite vulnerable as well, and a repeat of the horrific 1906 San Francisco earthquake is definitely not out of the question. Today, the real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area is some of the priciest in the entire nation, but much of that real estate could potentially be reduced to rubble in just a matter of moments. Millions of Californians are literally living on a ticking time bomb, and at some point time will run out.



Scientists discover big storms can create 'stormquakes'

This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico
This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. Florida State University professor Wenyuan Fan said the storm probably created "stormquakes" offshore in the gulf, too.
Scientists have discovered that the sea floor shakes during hurricanes and nor'easters, with a rumbling as strong as a magnitude 3.5 earthquake.

They've dubbed the phenomenon "stormquakes."

The scary sounding mash-up was detailed in research by Florida State University scientists published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The shaking of the sea floor during hurricanes and nor'easters can last for days, according to the study. While fairly common, the quakes weren't noticed before because they were considered seismic background noise.

A stormquake is more an oddity than something that can hurt you, because no one is standing on the sea floor during a hurricane, said Wenyuan Fan, a Florida State University seismologist who was the study's lead author.

The combination of two frightening natural phenomena might bring to mind "Sharknado," but stormquakes are real and not dangerous.

Comment: A few days ago as Typhoon Hagibis slammed into southern Japan, Tokyo was simultaneously hit by 5.3M earthquake.


Powerful shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake rattles the Philippines sending people running into the streets as officials warn of aftershocks

The quake struck about 40 miles north of General Santos, Mindanao. Patients were seen fleeing from a hospital and a shopping mall as the tremor struck

The quake struck about 40 miles north of General Santos, Mindanao. Patients were seen fleeing from a hospital and a shopping mall as the tremor struck
A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake has rattled the Philippines' second biggest island today, sending hundreds rushing out of a shopping mall and patients fleeing a hospital

The quake struck about 40 miles north of General Santos, Mindanao, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

Local media said an elderly man was injured after being struck by a falling object during the early evening quake.

The man received treatment after being injured, ABS-CBN television reported from the scene.


Moderate quake wakens San Francisco, Twitter flooded with witness reports

Map of San Francisco, CA
Residents of San Francisco and the Bay Area were shaken from their sleep by a 3.9-magnitude earthquake. Luckily, this time the quake triggered only memes and videos from rudely awoken San Franciscans.

The tremor struck just 6km (3.7 miles) off the coast of Colma, just south of San Francisco, on Saturday morning, according to the US Geological Service. An earthquake of this magnitude is strong enough to cause minor damage, but typically results in only shaking and rattling of objects indoors.

It's not just the living that were disturbed from their sleep. Colma, the town closest to the epicenter, is home to more than 1.5 million dead bodies. Founded as a necropolis in 1924, the dead outnumber the living in Colma by nearly a thousand to one.


Earthquake swarms impact Texas, Oklahoma, San Francisco and New Madrid fault zone

new madrid fault zone
There is a whole lotta shaking going on in America right now, and many people are concerned about what that could potentially mean. Could it be possible that the U.S. is entering a more seismically active time? This week alone, we have seen earthquake swarms in Texas, Oklahoma, San Francisco and the New Madrid fault zone. Of course earthquakes happen every day, but to see so many earthquake swarms happen in such diverse places within such a compressed period of time is definitely unusual. And what makes this even more unusual is the fact that Rosh Hashanah just ended. In fact, the earthquake swarm that we just witnessed in Texas started on Rosh Hashanah with a magnitude 4.0 quake near the town of "Snyder"...
In just over 12 hours, Texas experienced not one earthquake, but four, experts say.

Three quakes were centered near the town of Snyder — just south of the Texas panhandle — with a fourth centered near the Fort Worth area, according to the United States Geological Survey. The first and strongest of the cluster hit just after 4:45 p.m. Monday about 12 miles north of Snyder and measured magnitude 4.0.
That was the strongest earthquake in Texas so far this year, and it was followed by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake near Snyder, a magnitude 3.2 earthquake just south of Fort Worth, and a magnitude 2.5 earthquake near Snyder.

Comment: See: Five earthquakes in less than an hour rattle southeast Missouri, part of the New Madrid Seismic Zone