The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake at a depth of 59.4 km in Piura Province in northeastern Peru, close to the border with Ecuador, slightly before 5.00 am local time (slightly before 10.00 am GMT) on Sunday 15 September 2013. This is a moderately large Earthquake, but happening this deep is unlikely to have caused any damage or injuries, though it was probably felt over a wide area.
The approximate location of the 15 September 2013 Piura Earthquake. Google Maps.
Peru is on the west coast of South America and the western margin of the South American Plate, close to where the Nazca Plate, which underlies part of the east Pacific, is being subducted along the Peru-Chile Trench. The Nazca Plate passes under the South American Plate as it sinks into the Earth, this is not a smooth process and the plates repeatedly stick together then break apart as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes. As the Nazca Plate sinks further it is partially melted by the friction and the heat of the Earth's interior. Some of this melted material then rises through the overlying South American Plate, fueling the volcanoes of Peru and neighboring countries.
See also Small eruptions on Mount Ubinas, Peru, Further eruptions on Mount Tungurahua, 200 people evacuated after eruption on Tungurahua, Eruptive activity on Mount Sabancaya and Eruption on Volcán El Reventador.
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.