Alarming seismic activity
The year 2016 has witnessed a series of powerful earthquakes. Recently, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.4 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia early on December 5, but was not potential for tsunami, the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics agency said. The quake struck off East Nusa Tenggara in central Indonesia at 8.13 a.m. local time with the epicentre at 120 km northeast Flores Timur and at a depth of 524 km under sea bed, an official of the agency said.
“We did not issue a warning for tsunami for this quake,” said the official.There was no report that the quake was strongly felt in other areas, he added. Indonesia is prone to quake for its position on the quake hit-zone called the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire.’
At least 97 persons were killed and over 500 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale hit Aceh province in Indonesia later on December 7. The epicentre of the powerful earthquake was 18 km northeast Pidie Jaya district and the depth was at 10 km underground.
Earlier this year, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in the Indian Ocean on March 2, 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of lead to Tsunami warnings being issued for Indonesia and Australia. On April 16, AN earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Ecuador’s central coast near the town of Muisne.
Ecuador, due to the presence of active volcanoes is prone to high-magnitude quakes and tremors. Italy declared a state of emergency after two strong earthquakes struck the central Apennines on October 26- the first measuring 5.5 on the Richter and the second 6.1. Another powerful earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck central Italy’s Umbria region on October 30 followed by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that shook New Zealand’s South Island on November 13.
On November 25, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolted Akto County in Xinjiang province of China although local authorities said that there were no casualties. According to the China Earthquake Networks Centre, the quake struck at a depth of 10 km with its epicentre located at 39.27 degrees north latitude and 74.04 degrees east longitude. Statistics show that 83 earthquakes of magnitude 4 or over have occurred within 200 km of the epicentre in the past five years, with the largest recorded on December 7, 2015, when a 7.4-magnitude quake jolted Tajikistan.