Tuesday 6 April 2021

Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake in northern Iraq.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake at a depth of 8.3 km, 2 km to the north of Baynjiwayn in Sulaymaniyah Province, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, close to the border with Iran, slightly after 6.10 pm local time (slightly after 3.10 pm GMT) on Tuesday 6 April 2021. The event was felt on both sides of the Iranian border, but there are no reports of any damage or casualties.

The approximate location of the 6 April 2021 Sulaymaniyah Earthquake. USGS.

Iraq is situated on the northern part of the Arabian Plate, which is being pushed northward by the impact of Africa from the south, forcing it into the southern margin of the Eurasian Plate. This has created a zone of faulting and fold mountains along the northeast border of the country and neighbouring areas of Iran, known as the Zagros Thrust Belt. This compressing the rock layers close to the surface and creates frequent Earthquakes, some of which can be very large. 

The movement of the Arabian Plate and extent of the Zagros Thrust Belt. Rasoul Sorkhabi/Geo ExPro.

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