The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.4 Earthquake at a depth of 53.4 km in the upper Rio Malinowski river valley in the Madre de Dios region of eastern Peru, slightly after 11.00 pm local time on Tuesday 1 October 2013 (slightly after 4.00 am on Wednesday 2 October GMT). A quake of this size at this depth is unlikely to have caused any damage or injuries at the surface, but was probably felt over a fairly wide area.
The approximate location of the 1 October 2013 Rio Malinowski 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 Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake off the coast of Peru, Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake in northeast Peru, Small eruptions on Mount Ubinas, Peru, Eruptive activity on Mount Sabancaya and Large Earthquake near Ica, Peru.
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