Wednesday 25 April 2012

Earthquake in northern Algeria.

On Wednesday 25 April 2012, slightly before 4.20 am local time (slightly before 3.20 am GMT), an Earthquake occurred on the Algerian north coast, about 3 km south of the village of Bani h'awa and 21 km east of the town of Tanas, recorded by the United States Geological Survey as measuring 4.7 on the Richter Scale and occurring at a depth of 9.6 km. There are no reports of any damage or casualties, but it was felt as far away as Algiers, and apparently caused considerable alarm.

Map showing the location of the 25 April quake. USGS.

Africa is pushing into Europe from the south, which causes Earthquakes around the Mediterranean Basin. These are most common in southeast Europe, but those in northwest Africa, while less frequent, are often larger and more deadly. In February 2004 a magnitude 6.4 quake on the north Moroccan coast destroyed over 2500 homes, killing at least 628 people and making over 15 000 homeless. In 2003 a magnitude 6.8 quake hit the town of Thénia in northern Algeria, destroying over 1200 buildings, killing 2266 people and making 150 000 homeless. In 1980 a magnitude 7.3 quake hit the city of El Asnam in Algeria (now known as Chlef, 46 km south of the 25 April 2012 quake) killed 3500 and made another 300 000 homeless. In 1960 a magnitude 5.7 quake hit the city of Agadir in southern Morocco, killing about a third of the city's population (about 35 000 people).

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