Dozens of earthquake swarms have arisen beneath the island territory of Puerto Rico over the past seven days.
Although there were no immediate reports of a tsunami threat, the event can still manifest potential disaster.
Puerto Rico earthquake swarms
(Photo: Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Latest reports suggest that 94 earthquake swarms have rocked the island since Monday April 4.
Meanwhile, 25 tremors have occurred in the past 24 hours as of Monday, April 11, according to meteorologists from meteoboy.com.
In December 2019, the country experienced a series of earthquake swarms, including 123 with a magnitude greater than 3.0 on the Richter scale.
In January 2020, a massive 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island causing multiple casualties and widespread disruption, causing a large-scale power outage affecting over a million people; as well as four dead and nine wounded.
The government of Puerto Rico has planned to allocate US$3.7 billion to rebuild the island’s educational infrastructure following a series of natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods and storms. hurricanes, over the years, according to the Latin America News website. BNamericas.
Since then, new earthquake swarms have continued until early April, but no major incidents have been recorded so far.
Either way, stronger earthquakes are possible in the coming weeks or months.
Read also : Around 2,000 earthquake swarms have hit Portugal’s Azores islands since March 19
What are seismic swarms?
the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Declared earthquake swarms are different from ordinary earthquakes or aftershocks because they are characterized by low-impact but recurring tremors that can last for days or even months.
Earthquake swarms are often confused with aftershocks because both have no identifiable main shock.
This means that determining the first earthquake from these geological phenomena is a challenge because they occur in rapid succession and most of the time, simultaneously.
The USGS added that earthquake swarms are short-lived, but their large numbers, similar to a swarm of insects or other related connotations, allow them to continue for an extended period due to their occurrences. collective.
Despite the weak impact of the earthquake swarms, the possibility of a “strong earthquake swarm” or a “major earthquake” cannot be ruled out.
This is because a series of tremors are still affecting the tectonic plates below the ground. The movement of these plates is the main cause of shocks, according to the USGS.
Difference with replicas
Over the years, anecdotal evidence, media reports, and relevant geoseismic agencies indicate that aftershocks normally occur immediately after the main earthquake.
Since the movements of tectonic plates are unstable, the main earthquake can still cause residual effects under the Earth.
However, the US Geological Agency is quick to point out that there are instances where an aftershock is stronger than the initial tremor.
When this happens, the aftershock then becomes the main earthquake and the previous main earthquake will be classified as presage.
Puerto Rico sits above the edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate, which continually collides with the North American plate, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Related article: Puerto Rico: 24 earthquake swarms recorded in one day and 447 since January
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