Wednesday 12 August 2020

Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake off the coast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km, roughly 53 km to the southeast of the city of Dar es Salaam on the coast of northern Tanzania, slightly before 8.15 pm local time (slightly before 5.15 pm GMT) on Wednesday 12 August 2020. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event (nor would any be expected with an event of this size), but people have reported feeling it in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and parts of the Tanzanian interior.

The approximate location of the 12 August 2020 Dar es Salaam Earthquake. USGS.

Western Tanzania 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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