Sunday 16 March 2014

Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake on the Peruvian coast.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake at a depth of 9.8 km, on the coast of Sechura Province in northern Peru, roughly 6 km to the west of the provincial capitol, also called Sechura, slightly after 6.50 pm local time (slightly after 11.50 pm GMT) on Saturday 15 March 2014. There are no reports of any damage or casualties relating to this quake, however the United States Geological Survey estimates that a quake of this size in this area would have a 90% chance of causing at least one fatality.

The approximate location of the 15 March 2014 Sechura 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.

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