On Monday 7 April 2012, at about 9.40 am local time (4.40 am GMT), the northwest of Azerbaijan (and neighboring areas of Georgia and Dagestan, Russia) was shaken by an Earthquake centered roughly 14 km southeast of the city of Zaqatala. This was recorded by the United States Geological Survey as measuring 5.6 on the Richter Scale and occurring at a depth of 10 km, and by the Republican Seismic Survey Center of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences as occurring at a similar depth, but measuring only 5.5 on the Richter Scale.
Map showing the center of the quake (black star) and the areas where the most intense shaking was felt. USGS.
There are no reports of any fatalities at this time, but a number of people are reported to have been injured, and damage to property has been reported over a wide area. The initial quake has been followed by a number of aftershocks, including a quake at 7.15 pm local time (2.15 pm GMT), measured by the USGS as 5.3 on the Richter Scale.
Earthquakes are a common problem in Azerbaijan, which is located on the southern part of the Eurasian Plate, close to the boundary with the Arabian and Anatolian Plates. The Arabian Plate is moving northwards, pushing the Anatolian Plate to the west, and creating stress in the rocks around the Caspian Sea Basin.
The movement of the Arabian Plate into the Eurasian Plate from the south. El-Isa & Franke (2002).
See also Major earthquake in Van Province, eastern Turkey, Earthquake in Mojen, northern Iran, Earthquake on the Kyrgyzstan/Uzbekistan Border and Earthquakes on Sciency Thoughts YouTube.
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