The recent two months have witnessed some unusually active seismic activities across the globe, as a string of powerful earthquakes have jolted Ecuador, Japan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Indonesia, killing dozens of people and triggering several tsunami alerts.
Many cannot help wondering: Is this just coincidence, or is our planet once again on a "quake mode" that will trigger one major tremor after another?
Even experts find it difficult to draw a quick conclusion, but they have noted that both the magnitudes and frequencies of the recent quakes are still "within a normal range", Xinhua news agency reported.
It is hard to judge whether the Earth is experiencing another seismic active period, said Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.
Earthquakes across the world including powerful tremor in Ecuador and series of shakes in Japan could herald new MEGA quake, warns top scientist
A landslide destroyed part of a road in Minami, Japan after it struck the region yesterday. A scientist has warned the recent seismic activity could see a 'mega' earthquake in the future
A series of powerful earthquakes which struck Asia and South America in the past week could be followed by a 'mega' quake in the near future, a scientist has claimed.
On Thursday and yesterday, two earthquakes struck Japan, killing at least 41 people, causing landslides and widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Today, a 6.1 magnitude quake struck southeast of the Pacific island nation of Tonga, with no immediate reports of damage.
Earthquakes reported from across the globe
A 5.8-magnitude has hit the coast of the Pacific island nation of Tonga, USGS reported. The tremor with a depth of 66km, struck 287km from the county’s capital of Nuku’alofa.
The part of the South Pacific Ocean where Tonga lies is considered to be one of the most seismically active areas in the world due to convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates, the USGS said. Another powerful, 7.8-magnitude earthquake has shaken Ecuador’s northwest Pacific coast, killing at least 41 people and spreading panic.
The quake struck at 18:58 local time last evening near the northern coastal town of Muisne.
Another quake, magnitude 6.2, strikes off Ecuador coast
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador on Wednesday, just days after a major quake hit the country killing nearly 500 people.
The latest quake was centred 70km (44 miles) off the Pacific coast town Esmeraldas at a depth of 10km, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, not far from the epicenter of Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake.
Reuters witnesses in the zone said two strong tremors of about 30 seconds each were felt in Cojimies, down the coast in the disaster zone from the weekend earthquake, waking people up and sending them into the street.
Three earthquakes in four days: What you need to know
Rescuers check the damage around a landslide area caused by earthquakes in Minamiaso, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, Sunday, April 17, 2016
Both Japan and Ecuador are on the seismically active "ring of fire" around the Pacific Ocean. Here is a brief look at the events.
Three earthquakes hit Japan and Ecuador in a span of four days. The first quake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale, struck an area in the north of Kumamoto City in South Japan at 9.26 pm JST on April 14. The second quake — stronger and more intense than the first one — struck Kumamoto City at 1.25 am in the wee hours of Saturday, April 16.
That same day, though several time zones apart, Ecuador felt the brunt of a big 7.8 magnitude quake at 8 pm local time. At least 238 people have been reported dead and the number is likely to rise.
Do Earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador Signal an Epidemic? Scientists Say No
Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Earthquakes of magnitudes exceeding 7.0 struck Japan and Ecuador just hours apart on Saturday. Are the two somehow related?
No. The two quakes occurred about 9,000 miles apart. That’s far too distant for there to be any connection between them. Large earthquakes can, and usually do, lead to more quakes — but only in the same region, along or near the same fault. These are called aftershocks. Sometimes a large quake can be linked to a smaller quake that occurred earlier, called a foreshock. In the case of the Japanese quake, seismologists believe that several magnitude-6 quakes in the same region on the previous day were foreshocks to the Saturday event.
But the two earthquakes are similar in some ways, aren’t they?
Fears of 'THE BIG ONE' as SEVEN major earthquakes strike Pacific region in just 96 hours
Japan has been worst hit by the tremors
The latest quake to hit the country yesterday, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, injured more than 1,000 and trapped people in collapsed buildings, only a day after a quake killed nine people in the same region.
Rescue crews searched for survivors of a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck Japan's Kyushu Island, the same region rattled by a 6.2 quake two days earlier.
Around 20,000 troops have had to be deployed following the latest 7.3 earthquake at 1.25am local time on Saturday.
Earthquakes Today 2016: Ring of Fire, El Salvador & Nicaragua Terremoto
Earthquakes today 2016 continue. That massive Ecuador earthquake last night and Japan earthquakes earlier this week have now been followed by a strong earthquake today April 17, 0216 near Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. This is the last earthquake today to strike the “Ring of Fire”.
Earthquakes today 2016 continue to hit across different sections of the Ring of Fire zone. Today’s earthquake registered a 4.8 but was deep, 45.8 miles below sea level. It was 38 miles south of Intibucá, El Salvador. It was 50 miles south of La Union and 104 miles southeast of San Salvador, El Salvador.
Today’s quake is located near an active El Salvador epicenter. In September of 2013, several quakes struck the region. One quake was sixty-four miles south of Puerto El Triunfo. The quake also erupted seventy miles south of Usulutan and seventy-three miles southwest of San Rafael Oriente. Shaking continued seventy-eight miles south of Santiago de Maria and ninety miles from San Salvador.
Japan and earthquakes: A study guide
Four massive earthquakes struck Japan in less than three days this week. The strongest measured 7.3 on the Richter scale early Saturday. Massive damage to roads, bridges and buildings were reported. The death toll by Saturday’s end reached 41 as rescuers struggled to reach survivors. Thousands sustained serious injuries, with about 90,000 evacuated from the quake-hit southern regions and admitted to emergency shelters.
Warning calls have been issued to brace for more severe tremblors in coming days. The quakes also appear to have triggered an eruption at Mt. Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano. A tsunami warning was sounded but lifted a few hours later.
Why is Japan battered so often by earthquakes? Why hasn’t the Mt. Aso eruption triggered a tsunami? What are the relationships between Japan’s geographic location, earthquakes and tsunamis? The following report answers some of these questions.
Strong Earthquakes Strike Ecuador, Japan
A powerful earthquake struck Ecuador Saturday, killing at least 235 people and injuring more than 1,500. The earthquake in the South American country happened after a series of earthquakes struck Japan -- on the other side of the world.
President Rafael Correa was in Rome, Italy when the quake struck. He quickly returned home. He said the city of Pedernales -- in Manabi Province -- is, in his words, destroyed. About 40,000 people live there.
Officials say they believe the number of dead will increase as aid workers reach isolated areas.
Japan, Ecuador quakes hit in seismically active 'Ring of Fire'
While earthquakes happen all the time, some parts of the world are more susceptible than others - particularly in the Ring of Fire, a band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean.
Powerful earthquakes have recently hit Japan and Ecuador causing widespread damage and injuries
Japan was hit by two shallow quakes close to the city of Kumamoto over the past week, while a 7.8 magnitude quake struck Ecuador over the weekend.
Earthquake expert and chair of Geology at the University of Melbourne Professor Mike Sandiford spoke to SBS News about the quakes.
Ecuador and Japan earthquakes: Are they related?
Several million earthquakes occur annually, but most are unnoticed because they're so small, the U.S. Geologic Survey says.
But three recent earthquakes -- on Thursday and Saturday morning in Japan and Saturday night in Ecuador -- have gotten lots of attention because of the great destruction.
Here are five things to know about those quakes.
- Are the Ecuador and Japan earthquakes related?
- What about the Ring of Fire?
- How do the Ecuador and Japanese quakes compare in power?
- Is this Ecuador's strongest earthquake?
- How often do quakes of this power occur?
19 Really Shocking Things You Need to Know about Earthquakes
At least 233 people died, 1,560 injured and tens of thousands displaced, while hundreds of buildings were destroyed by a 7.8 quake April 17, 2016 in Ecuador. | Photo: AFP
About 80 percent of all earthquakes occur along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the Ring of Fire, where there are 452 volcanoes or 75 percent of the world's most active and dormant volcanoes. Natural events such as volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts can cause earthquakes, but the majority of are triggered by movement of the Earth's plates.
The Earth's surface consists of 20 constantly moving plates. The pressure increase from shifting plates can cause the crust to break, causing earthquakes.
There are about 1.3 million earthquakes a year. Most are 2.9 magnitude or lower.
There may already be some way to forecast earthquakes
Amid the recent shockwave news of quakes and tsunami warnings – with lives lost, injuries aplenty and property damage galore – one big question keeps coming back on everyone’s minds: “Why can’t we still predict when the next quake will be?”
Scientists are still wringing their hands at the inability to provide any exact timing forecasts – despite being fully confident they know what causes earthquakes and also volcanic eruptions, sure they are inter-related to tectonic plates and mysterious movements beneath our collective feet. In the meantime, ‘earthy’ – pardon the pun – ‘wisdom’ prevails as people have long noticed that animals seem able to sense when there’s impending disaster.
Such foresight, say scientists, may be due to ultra low frequency waves generated by tectonic plate pressures about to be released – which in essence means there is actually very little warning which can be seen as credible enough to act on.
Are the Earthquakes on Opposite Sides of the Pacific Related?
The earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador in just a matter of days has many wondering whether the earthquakes are somehow related.
The world’s strongest earthquakes since 1900
AP Photo/Patricio Ramos An hotel barely stands after an earthquake in the town of Manta, Ecuador, Saturday April 16, 2016. A powerful, 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Ecuador's central coast on Saturday, killing at least 28 people
A magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Ecuador’s central coast on Saturday (April 16). The country’s vice president called it the strongest to hit the country in decades.
Here is a list of some of the world’s strongest earthquakes since 1900:
- May 22, 1960: A magnitude-9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami kill at least 1,716 people.
- March 28, 1964: A magnitude-9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, kills 131 people, including 128 from a tsunami.
- Dec 26, 2004: A magnitude-9.1 quake in Indonesia triggers an Indian Ocean tsunami, killing 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
- March 11, 2011: A magnitude-9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggers a tsunami, killing more than 18,000 people.
- Nov 4, 1952: A magnitude-9.0 quake in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East causes damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 9.1-meter (30-foot) waves in Hawaii.
- Feb 27, 2010: A magnitude-8.8 quake shakes Chile, generating a tsunami and killing 524 people.
- Jan 31, 1906: A magnitude-8.8 quake off the coast of Ecuador generates a tsunami that kills at least 500 people.
- Feb 4, 1965: A magnitude-8.7 quake strikes Alaska’s Rat Islands, causing an 11-meter (35-foot) -high tsunami.
- March 28, 2005: A magnitude-8.6 quake in northern Sumatra in Indonesia kills about 1,300 people.
- Aug 15, 1950: A magnitude-8.6 earthquake in Tibet kills at least 780 people.
- April 11, 2012: A magnitude-8.6 quake off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia triggers tsunami warnings in more than two dozen nations.
- March 9, 1957: A magnitude-8.6 quake strikes the Andreanof Islands in Alaska triggers a 16-meter (52-foot) -high tsunami.
- Sept 12, 2007: A magnitude-8.5 quake near Sumatra in Indonesia kills at least 25 people.
- Feb 1, 1938: A magnitude-8.5 quake in Banda Sea, Indonesia, generates a small tsunami.
- Feb 3, 1923: A magnitude-8.5 quake in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East triggers a tsunami.
- Nov 11, 1922: A magnitude-8.5 quake along the Chile-Argentina border triggers a tsunami that causes damage along Chile’s coast.
- Oct 13, 1963: A magnitude-8.5 quake in the Kuril Islands triggers a tsunami.
- Sept 16, 2015: A magnitude-8.3 earthquake in Illapel, Chile, killing 14 people.
- Dec 12, 1979: A magnitude-8.2 earthquake near the Ecuadorean port city of Tumaco. It triggered a tsunami.
- April 25, 2015: a magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people.
- March 2, 2016: A magnitude-7.8 earthquake strikes in the Indian Ocean, 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Sumatra in Indonesia. Tsunami warnings were briefly issued for Indonesia and Australia.
- April 16, 2016: A magnitude-7.8 earthquake on Ecuador’s central coast near the town of Muisne.
What is the strongest earthquake ever recorded?
The Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960 The Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean Earthquake (Spanish: Gran terremoto de Valdivia) of May 22, 1960, is to date the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating 9.5 on the Moment Magnitude scale.
It occurred in the afternoon (19:11 GMT, 14:11 local time) and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
From Yahoo: The biggest earthquake since 1900 recorded with modern equipment occurred on May 22, 1960, in Chile and measured 9.5 on the Richter scale. More than 2,000 people were killed, 3,000 injured, and 2,000,000 left homeless. The temblor caused $550 million in damage, and the destruction didn't end there -- the earthquake also caused a tsunami that resulted in 61 deaths and $75 million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32 deaths in the Philippines; and $500,000 in damage to the west coast of the United States. Checking other sites, including the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences of New Zealand and the Geophysics Program at the University of Washington. Every site we checked corroborated the first site's information.
10 Strongest Earthquakes in History
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.
Determining the largest earthquakes can be a difficult task. Below is the list of all known 10 Strongest earthquakes measured or estimated to have a moment magnitude scale or Richter magnitude scale of 8.5 and above.
Top 10 Strongest Earthquakes in The History:
- Valdivia, Southern Chile - Magnitude: 9.5 Deaths: 1,655 (May 22nd, 1960)
- Great Alaskan - Magnitude: 9.2 Deaths: 141 (Mar 27th, 1964)
- Indian Ocean - Magnitude: 9.1 Mw Deaths: 227,898 (Dec 26th, 2004)
- Tohoku, Japan - Magnitude: 9.0 Mw Deaths: 15,870 (Mar 11th, 2011)
- Kamchatka, Russia - Magnitude: 9.0 (Nov 4th, 1952)
- Offshore Maule, Chile - Magnitude: 8.8 Deaths: 525 (27 February 2010)
- Ecuador-Colombia - Magnitude: 8.8 Deaths: 1,500 (January 31, 1906)
- Rat Islands, Alaska - Magnitude: 8.7 Date: (4 February, 1965)
- Northern Sumatra, Indonesia - Magnitude: 8.6 Deaths: 1300 (28 March 2005)
- Assam-Tibet - Magnitude: 8.6 Deaths: 780 (1950)
The 10 most powerful recorded earthquakes
An Indonesian man in Banda Aceh surveys the damage after the deadliest tsunami in history in 2004. Photograph: Steve Crisp/Reuters
22 May 1960 – Chile - Magnitude 9.528 March 1964 – Prince William Sound, Alaska - Magnitude 9.2
26 December 2004 – Off the west coast of northern Sumatra - Magnitude 9.1
4 November 1952 – Kamchatka - Magnitude 9
13 August 1868 – Arica, Peru (now part of Chile) - Magnitude 9
26 January 1700 – North Pacific coast of America - Magnitude 9 (estimated)
27 February 2010 – off Bio-Bio, Chile - Magnitude 8.8
13 January 1906 – coast of Ecuador - Magnitude 8.8
1 November 1755 – Lisbon - Magnitude 8.7
15 August 1950 – Assam-Tibet - Magnitude 8.6