Saturday 25 February 2017

Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake in Northern Province, Zambia.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake at a depth of 26.7 km roughly 846 km east of Kaputa in Northern Province, Zambia, slightly after 2.30 am local time (slightly after 0.30 am GMT) on Friday 24 February 2017. There are no reports of any damage or casualties arising from this quake, though people have reported feeling it across much of northeastern Zambia, and it is likely to have been felt in parts of neighbouring Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The approximate location of the 24 February 2017 Northern Province Earthquake. USGS.

Eastern Zambia 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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