Monday 24 December 2018

Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake in Manica Province, Mozambique.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake at a depth of 7.6 km in western Manica Province, Mozambique, about 53 km to the southeast of the town of Chipinge in ZImbabwe, slightly after 7.35 am local time (slightly after 5.35 am GMT) on Saturday 22 December 2018. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, though it was felt across much of southern Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe, as well as in parts of Limpopo Province, South Africa.

The approximate location of the 22 December 2018 Manica Earthquake. USGS.

Southwest Mozambique 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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