Sunday 30 July 2017

Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake beneath Lake Edward, Central Africa.

The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 5.3. Earthquake at a depth of 10 km beneath northeast Lake Edward, which forms the border between Uganda to the east and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, slightly after 10.00 am local time (slightly after 7.00 am GMT) on Sunday 30 July 2017. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event at this time, but it was felt across much of southwest Uganda, Rwanda and in parts of northeastern Tanzania.

The approximate location of the 30 July 2017 Northern Province Earthquake. USGS.

Lake Edward lies within the the of the Great Rift Valley, which is slowly splitting the African Plate in two along a line from the Red Sea through Ethiopia, and which includes the great lakes and volcanoes of east-central Africa. This has the potential to open into a new ocean over the next few tens of millions of years, splitting Africa into two new, smaller, continents; Nubia to the west and Somalia to the east.

 Movement on the African Rift Valley, with associated volcanoes. Rob Gamesby/Cool Geography.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation 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.
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