Friday 14 April 2017

Pair of Earthquakes off the coast of Djibouti.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.7 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km, beneath the Gulf of Tadjoura on the coast of Djibouti, slightly before 9.50 am local time (slightly before 5.55 am GMT) on Friday 14 April 2017. This was followed by a second event of the same magnitude and depth slightly before 2.45 pm local time (slightly before 10.45 am local time). There are no reports of any damage or injuries arising from these quake, but were felt in the city of Djibouti, capitol of the country.

The approximate location of the 14 April 2017 Djibouti Earthquakes. USGS.

Djibouti is located on the western shore of the Red Sea, which while referred to as a sea, is technically an immature ocean, underlain by the Red Sea Rift, a spreading boundary between two tectonic plates, the African Plate and the Arabian, where new oceanic crust is being formed. Arabia was formerly part of the African Plate, but split away about 30 million years ago. The Great Rift Valley of Africa is a continuation of this rift, that is slowly splitting Africa in two from the north to the south. This rifting exerts pressure on the rocks around the margin of the sea, slowly pushing them apart, not smoothly but in fits and starts as the pressure overcomes the tendency of the rocks to stick together.
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