Thursday, 15 October 2015

Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake in Santander Department, Colombia.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake at a depth of 124 km in northern Santander Department, Colombia, at slightly after 2.45 am local time (slightly after 7.45 am GMT) on Wednesday 14 October 2015. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, but people reported feeling heavy shaking as far away as Medellin, approximately 300 km southwest of the epicenter. This is typical for large, deep Earthquakes, where a release of energy that would be highly dangerous close to the surface is spread over a wide area by the time it is felt.

The approximate location of the 14 October 2015 Santander Earthquake. Google Maps.

Colombia 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 Colombia and neighboring countries.

The subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate, and how it causes Earthquakes and volcanoes. SIO SEARCH.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organization Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

See also...

Eruptions on Nevado del Ruiz.

The Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS) reported an increase in seismic activity (earthquakes) beneath Nevado del Ruiz, a 5231 m stratovolcano (cone shaped volcano made up of layers of lava and ash) in the Los Nevados National Natural Park, at the northern end of the...

At least 78 people have died after a landslide hit the village of La Liboriana in  Antioquia Province, Colombia on Monday 18 May 2015. The landslide, which...

Fifteen workers are missing following an inrush of gas and water at a gold mine at Riosucio in Caldas Province in the northwest of Colombia on Wednesday 13 May 2015. The incident reportedly happened during...

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