Sunday 18 March 2018

Magnitude Earthquake in Zambezia Province, Mozambique.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.9 Earthquake at a depth of 10.0 km in western Zambezia Province, Mozambique, about 22 km to the northeast of the town of Nsanje in Malawi which was hit by an Earthquake on 6 March, slightly after 5.10 pm local time (slightly after 3.10 pm GMT) on Saturday 17 March 2018. This is unlikely to have caused any damage or casualties, though it is large enough that it was probably felt locally, although there have been no reports of anybody having done so at this time.

 The approximate location of the 17 March 2018 Zambezia Earthquake. USGS.

Western Zambezia 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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