Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Two Powerful 7.6 Magnitude Earthquakes Jolts Peru-Brazil Border! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 24, 2015 - PERU / BRAZIL - Two major magnitude 7.6 earthquakes struck the Peruvian-Brazilian border in the Amazon basin within minutes of each other on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

USGS shakemap intensity.

Damage was likely limited as the epicenter was deep in the Amazonian jungle, around 184 miles (296 km) northwest of the Peruvian town of Puerto Maldonado, in a sparsely populated area.

Both quakes were also very deep, at some 375 miles (602 km) below ground.

The quakes, which struck at 5:45 p.m. (2245 GMT) and then five minutes later, were felt by residents in northern Chile, the Brazilian city of Brasileia, 154 miles (247 km) west, and Peru's capital, Lima, 423 miles (681 km) to the east. - Reuters.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)

The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded (superseded in May 2013 by a M8.3 earthquake 610 km beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia), and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics



MONUMENTAL INFRASTRUCTRE COLLAPSE & MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: The Red Death - Toxic Mud Reaches The Atlantic Ocean; Threatening ENDANGERED Aquatic Wildlife; Brazil BIGGEST Environmental Disaster; Deadly Deluge Of SIXTY MILLION CUBIC METERS Of Toxic Waste; Would Take 300 YEARS To Clean Up; Over A BILLION REAIS Already Spent In Clean-Up Costs; 11 People Killed And 12 Others Missing! [PHOTOS]

November 24, 2015 - ATLANTIC OCEAN
- Toxic mud from a collapsed iron mine dam in Brazil has travelled 500 kilometers down the Rio Doce and reached the Atlantic Ocean, threatening endangered leatherback turtles and the river’s other aquatic wildlife.

Brazil’s biggest environmental disaster ever occurred on November 5 when a Samarco iron mine dam collapsed, releasing sixty million cubic meters of toxic waste.

The deadly deluge quickly flooded villages and contaminated rivers in south-eastern Brazil, with 11 people killed and 12 others still reported missing.

Over the course of the month, the toxic waste travelled more than 500 kilometers downstream to reach the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo.

According to estimates from biologists, it will take some 30 years to clean up the Rio Doce basin after mercury, arsenic, chromium and manganese at levels exceeding human consumption limits were discovered in the red mud.

The contamination threatens the Comboios nature reserve, which is one of the world’s few regular nesting sites for the endangered leatherback turtle.

Fish, loggerhead turtles, whales and dolphins are also in jeopardy as scientists fear the toxic water may reduce oxygen and alter pH levels in the water.

The iron ore mine owner, Samarco, installed nine kilometers of floating barriers in an attempt to protect the Rio Doce river bank.

The company also widened the river mouth to speed up the flow of the mud where the toxins are expected to stretch to a wider area and become diluted.

Samarco agreed to pay one billion reais (US$262m) to cover the clean-up costs and compensation.

The mine owner was also fined 250 million reais by Brazil's environmental regulator, with President Dilma Rousseff saying that more penalties may follow from other government bodies. - RT.


NEW WORLD DISORDER: Terrorism, False Flag Distractions, Societal Collapse And Civilizations Unraveling Ahead Of The Black Celestial Event - Russia Deploys MISSILE CRUISER Off Syria's Coast, Ordered To DESTROY ANY TARGET Posing Danger As Putin Suspends Military Cooperation With Turkey!

November 24, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Moscow plans to suspend military cooperation with Ankara after the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkish air forces, Russian General Staff representatives said on Tuesday.

Further measures to beef up Russian air base security in Syria will also be taken.

Three steps as announced by top brass:
  1. Each and every strike groups’ operation is to be carried out under the guise of fighter jets
  2. Air defense to be boosted with the deployment of Moskva guided missile cruiser off Latakia coast with an aim to destroy any target that may pose danger
  3. Military contacts with Turkey to be suspended

Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian bomber in Syrian airspace by a Turkish fighter jet as “a severe violation of international law”.

He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory. The crash site was four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said.

Rudskoy said the Russian warplane did not violate Turkish airspace. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber.

The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.

“We assume the strike was carried out with a close range missile with an infra-red seeker,” Rudskoy said. “The Turkish jet made no attempts to communicate or establish visual contact with our crew that our equipment would have registered. The Su-24 was hit by a missile over Syria’s territory.”

Russia now plans to implement new measures aimed at strengthening the security of the country’s air base in Syria and in particular to bolster air defense.

Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva, equipped with the ‘Fort’ air defense system, similar to the S-300, will be deployed off Latakia province's coast.

"We warn that every target posing a potential threat will be destroyed,” lieutenant general Sergey Rudskoy said during the briefing.

“All military contacts with Turkey will be suspended,” he added. - RT.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Major Rise In Weather Disasters Over The Last Two Decades - United Nations Report!

A flood-affected resident swims through floodwaters in Kalay, upper Myanmar’s Sagaing region on August 3, 2015. Relentless monsoon rains have triggered flash floods and
landslides, destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges and roads with fast-flowing waters hampering relief efforts. Picture: AFP.

November 24, 2015 - EARTH
- Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people & left billions injured & homeless.

Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a UN report said on Monday.

While the report authors could not pin the increase wholly on climate change, they did say that the upward trend was likely to continue as extreme weather events increased.

Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people, left billions injured, homeless or in need of aid, and accounted for 90 percent of all disasters, it said.

A recent peak year was 2002, when drought in India hit 200 million and a sandstorm in China affected 100 million.

But the standout mega-disaster was Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008.

Destroyed houses after a mudslide caused by Tropical Storm Erika in Montrouis, Haiti, in August.  © Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

While geophysical causes such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis often grab the headlines, they only make up one in 10 of the disasters trawled from a database defined by the impact.

The report, called "The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters", found there were an average of 335 weather-related disasters annually between 2005 and August this year, up 14 percent from 1995-2004 and almost twice as many as in the years from 1985 to 1994.

"While scientists cannot calculate what percentage of this rise is due to climate change, predictions of more extreme weather in future almost certainly mean that we will witness a continued upward trend in weather-related disasters in the decades ahead," the report said.

The release of the report comes a week before world leaders gather in Paris to discuss plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prevent world temperatures rising.

The United Nations says atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming, have risen to a new record every year for the past 30 years.

"All we can say is that certain disaster types are increasing. Floods are definitely increasing," said Debarati Guha-Sapir, professor at the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at UCL University in Louvain, Belgium, which co-authored the report.

"Whether it's increasing due to global warming, I think it's safe to say the jury's out on that. But rather than focus on the ifs, whys and wherefores, I think we should focus on how to manage floods."

Margareta Wahlstrom, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), said floods were not just caused by heavy rain but also by poorly planned construction.

UNISDR estimates natural disasters of all types cause losses of $250 billion-$300 billion globally each year.

The report drew on a database of weather events that defines an event as a disaster if 10 or more people are killed, 100 or more are affected, a state of emergency is declared, or if there is a call for international assistance.

The countries hit by the highest number of weather-related disasters over the past decade were the United States, with 472, China with 441, India with 288, the Philippines with 274 and Indonesia with 163. - EWN.


NEW WORLD DISORDER: Terrorism, False Flag Distractions, Societal Collapse And Civilizations Unraveling Ahead Of The Black Celestial Event - In A Major Escalation, Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane Along The Syrian Border; Putin Warns Of SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES; NATO To Hold Emergency Meeting! UPDATE: Video - Russian Rescue Helicopter Blown Up!

Russia's president stated that the incident with Su-24 in Syria is beyond regular war against terrorism.

November 24, 2015 - MIDDLE EAST
- A Russian warplane has gone down near the Turkish-Syrian border after an apparent attack.

Turkish and Russian sources have given conflicting reports about the incident, which has the potential to escalate the tension between Russia and NATO member Turkey.

Turkey backstabbed Russia by downing the Russian warplane and acted as accomplices of the terrorists, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

WATCH: Russian Su-24 fighter jet downed over Syria, parachute seen in sky.

The plane was hit by a Turkish warplane as it was travelling 1 km away from the Turkish border, Putin said. The plane posed no threat to Turkish national security, he stressed.

Putin said the plane was targeting terrorist targets in the Latakia province of Syria, many of whom came from Russia.

WATCH: Putin - Downing of Russian jet over Syria stab in the back by terrorist accomplices.

Russia noticed of the flow of oil from Syrian territory under the control of terrorists to Turkey, Putin said.

Apparently, IS now not only receives revenue from the smuggling of oil, but also has the protection of a nation’s military, Putin said. This may explain why the terrorist group is so bold in taking acts of terrorism across the world, he added.

The two pilots were able to eject from the plane, although their current fate is unknown.

The Russian Su-24 was directly tasked with the fight against the Islamic State group, carrying out preventative airstrikes
against terrorists, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

The incident will have grave consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey, Putin warned.

The fact that Turkey did not try to contact Russia in the wake of the incident and rushed to call a NATO meeting instead is worrisome, Putin said. It appears that Turkey want NATO to serve the interests of IS, he added.

Putin said Russia respects the regional interests of other nations, but warned the atrocity committed by Turkey would not go without an answer.

Putin was speaking at a meeting with King of Jordan Abdullah II in Sochi, who expressed his condolences to the Russian leader over the loss of a Russian pilot in Tuesday’s incident, as well as the deaths of Russians in the Islamic State bombing of a passenger plane in Egypt.

The two leaders discussed the anti-terrorist effort in Syria and Iraq and the diplomatic effort to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict. Several protesters have showed up in front of the Turkish Embassy in Moscow to protest the downing of the Russian bomber. “Turkey, are you for or against ISIS?” one of the banners said in Russian.

The downing of the Russian jet by Turkey is a very serious incident, the UK Foreign Office said, adding that it was seeking further details.

"Clearly this is a very serious incident, but it would be unwise to comment further until we have more certainty on the facts," the ministry said. Turkey has summoned the Russian Ambassador in Ankara following the warplane downing incident, Bloomberg reported.

WATCH: GRAPHIC - Russian Su-24 pilot surrounded by armed rebels, allegedly dead.

The rebel group that released an alleged video of one of the Russian warplane pilots has told AP he was shot at by the group while in the air and was dead when he landed.

The Kremlin recommended not jumping to conclusions after the downing of a Russian warplane in Syria, saying it was too early to say how the incident could affect Russia’s relations with Turkey.

WATCH: LIVE - RT special coverage of Russian warplane downed over Syria.

“What we should do is be patient. This incident is very serious, but until we see a complete picture, making any statements is impossible and wrong,” spokesman for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov told the media. - RT.

UPDATE: Video - Russian Rescue Helicopter Blown Up!

A video of Syrian rebels allegedly firing at a Russian-made helicopter on the ground has been posted on a YouTube channel associated with the FSA’s 1st Coastal Brigade. The helicopter is said to have been on a search mission for the pilots of the Su-24 jet downed by Turkey in Syria.

WATCH: Video by FSA said-to-show Russian-made grounded helicopter destroyed by TOW near Su-24 crash site.

FUK-U-SHIMA: "Alarming Signs Of Oceanic Distress On The West Coast - RECORD Number Of Stranded Seal Pups, Nearly 2,000 PERCENT Of Normal Levels; "Bags Of Skin And Bones,... In Our 40 Year History WE'VE NEVER SEEN THIS MANY ANIMALS"!

November 24, 2015 - NORTH AMERICA
- Sausalito’s Marine Mammal Center sees record number of stranded seal pups — Another species of marine wildlife has begun turning up, emaciated and weak, in record numbers on the California coast in what continue to be alarming signs of oceanic distress. Unhealthy northern fur seal pups have been found stranded on beaches in record numbers, newly weaned and weighing little more than typical birth weight for the species, marine mammal experts said. “They’re adorable, but on the other hand they’re these little bags of skin and bones,” said Jeff Boehm, executive director of the Marine Mammal Center… [The center has] taken in 85 northern fur seals… more than double the previous record of 31 pups in 2006… The northern fur seal strandings are the latest in a string of alarming marine events. Experts have been working all year to address an “unusual mortality event” among California sea lions. In addition, wildlife rescue crews have been trying to rehabilitate a record number of the rarely seen and endangered Guadalupe fur seal pups. - (emphasis added) - Nov 20, 2015 - Press Democrat.

Record number of stranded seal pups in Northern California… experts say another species of marine wildlife has begun turning up, emaciated and weak, in record numbers on the California coast in what has been a series of alarming signs of oceanic distress. - (emphasis added) - Nov 20, 2015 - AP.

Unusual Ocean Conditions Continue to Cause Record Strandings… Like the California sea lions and Guadalupe fur seals before them, these young, starving pups are stranding in record numbers. 2015 has been a year like no other for The Marine Mammal Center—with six weeks still remaining, we’ve already rescued more seals and sea lions than ever before in our 40-year history… All told, we have rescued more than 1,747 seals and sea lions so far this year… raising alarming questions about the health of our ocean The fur seal pups we’ve been rescuing for the past month are about half the size they should be at this age. Our veterinary experts describe them as “emaciated,” which essentially means they are skin and bones, and in the poorest state of nutrition While experts are able to explain how this is happening—unusually warm waters are affecting food availability for mothers and pups—they still can’t explain exactly why What we do know is that the record numbers of stranded marine mammals we’ve seen all year indicate there is an urgent need for more science to help us all better understand what’s going on off the coast of California and how large-scale human impacts, such as overfishing and pollution, may be affecting the health of these animals and their ocean environment as well… - (emphasis added) - Nov 19, 2015 - Marine Mammal Center.

In normal years, the Marine Mammal Center admits about five northern fur seals In November of 2006, 33 fur seals were admitted to the Marine Mammal Center… Most scientists don’t believe that the fur seal strandings were due to El Niño since other species weren’t showing similar El Niño effects… there is no clear understanding of why the fur seals were unable to find food that year. - (emphasis added) - Marine Mammal Center.

The Marine Mammal Center… is full of malnourished northern fur seal pups that have been abandoned or somehow separated from their mothers. “In our 40 year history we have never seen this many animals. We’ve had ninety one this season,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director of the Marine Mammal Center. - Nov 23, 2015 - CBS San Francisco.

Record Strandings: Northern Fur Seals New Victim of Unusual Ocean Conditions; The Marine Mammal Center breaks nearly every record due to record strandings of northern fur seals, California sea lions and Guadalupe fur seals from warm ocean waters… the Center has already rescued more seals and sea lions than ever before in its 40-year history. Now the Center is experiencing an unexpected influx of more than 80 northern fur seal pups—and more coming in every day… “Northern fur seals are just the latest victims of the warm waters off of our coast,” says Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at the Center. “And as these conditions persist, we’re increasingly concerned about what this could mean for the next generation of sea lion pups too.” - Nov 22, 2015 - California Diver.

Watch CBS San Francisco’s broadcast here

Compiled by: ENE News.


MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Societal Chaos And Civilizations Unraveling - Israel Jets Strike Gaza In Response To Rocket Fire!

November 24, 2015 - MIDDLE EAST
- The Israeli Air Force has launched airstrikes targeting a “Hamas post” in the Gaza Strip in retaliation to a rocket that was launched at southern Israel earlier in the day.

According to reports, Israeli jets targeted a training camp of Hamas’ armed wing in central Gaza, apparently blaming the group for the rocket that landed in southern Israel's Eshkol Regional Council on Monday morning.

The projectile exploded in unpopulated area, causing no injuries or damage.

Alert sirens were not activated, but security forces reportedly swept the area to find the remnants of the rocket.

Israel maintains that Hamas bears full responsibility for all “goings-on in the Gaza Strip,” according to an IDF statement cited by Haaretz.

The Israeli military “will continue to act with severity to keep the calm in southern communities,” it added. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Increasing Seismic Activity Along The Caribbean Plate - Moderate 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Le Vauclin In Martinique! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 24, 2015 - MARTINIQUE
- A moderate earthquake with magnitude 4.6 (ml/mb) was detected on Monday, 62 kilometers (39 miles) from Le Vauclin in Martinique.

A tsunami warning has not been issued (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist). 

The 4.6-magnitude earthquake was detected at 22:06:35 / 10:06 pm (local time epicenter).

Exact location of event, depth 52.09 km, -60.2609° West, 14.4611° North.

The epicenter of the earthquake was roughly 52.09 km (32 miles) below the earth’s surface. Global time and date of event 24/11/15 / 2015-11-24 02:06:35 / November 24, 2015 @ 2:06 am UTC/GMT.

Earthquake epicenter was 89 km (55 miles) from Fort-de-France (c. 90 000 pop), 82 km (51 miles) from Le Lamentin (c. 39 200 pop), 77 km (48 miles) from Le Robert (c. 23 800 pop), 87 km (54 miles) from Sainte-Marie (c. 20 400 pop), 96 km (59 miles) from Castries (c. 20 000 pop), 71 km (44 miles) from Le François (c. 19 700 pop), 78 km (48 miles) from Ducos (c. 17 400 pop).

USGS shakemap intensity.

Nearest cities/city/towns to hypocenter/epicentrum was Castries, Praslin, Le Lorrain (min 5000 pop). Nearby country/countries that might be effected, Saint Lucia (c. 161 000 pop), Martinique (c. 433 000 pop).

Earthquakes 4.0 to 5.0 are often felt, but only causes minor damage. There are an estimated 13,000 light earthquakes in the world each year.

In the past 24 hours, there have been one, in the last 10 days one, in the past 30 days one and in the last 365 days seven earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater that have been detected in the same area. - ENT.

Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Colombia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake.

References for the Panama Fracture Zone:

Molnar, P., and Sykes, L. R., 1969, Tectonics of the Caribbean and Middle America Regions from Focal Mechanisms and Seismicity: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 1639-1684.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Steam Explosion At Mount Kanlaon In Central Philippines - Maybe Precursor To An Eruption, Alert Level Raised!

Philippines raises volcano alert level after explosion.

November 24, 2015 - THE PHILIPPINES
- A steam explosion at one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines may be a precursor to an eruption, officials warned Tuesday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised its alert levels after the explosion occurred at Mt. Kanlaon in the central Philippines.

"Alert level 1 status currently prevails over Kanlaon Volcano, which means that it is at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest," the institute said.

"Local government units and the public are strictly reminded that entry into the 4-kilometer radius permanent danger zone is strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions."

The institute reported that the explosion had occurred in a crater at the summit for eight minutes at 9.55 p.m. (1355 GMT) Monday, based on visual observation.

It added that the volcano had produced a 1-1.5 kilometer (0.6-0.9 mile) high white plume of smoke and a clear rumbling sound.

Four volcanic earthquakes at Kanlaon have been recorded in the past week alone, and after Monday's explosion, volcanic tremors were recorded for five hours.

Civil aviation authorities advised pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit, as a sudden eruption might endanger aircraft.

Kanlaon is the third most active volcano in the Philippines, having erupted 26 times since record-keeping began -- including an eruption in 1996 that killed three mountain climbers.

The institute has been monitoring three other volcanoes in the Philippines north it says are showing restive signs. - AA.


PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Boy Dies Of Ebola In Liberia - First Such Fatality In Months!

Health workers put on protective gear before entering a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of
Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone December 19, 2014. Reuters/Baz Ratner

November 24, 2015 - LIBERIA
- A 15-year-old boy has died of Ebola in Liberia, the first such fatality for months in a country declared free of the disease in September, chief medical officer Francis Kateh said on Tuesday.

Nathan Gbotoe tested positive last week and died late on Monday in hospital in Paynesville near the capital, where his father and brother are also being treated for Ebola, officials said.

Liberia has placed under surveillance 153 people who may have come into contact with Gbotoe.

An additional 25 healthcare workers are being monitored, of which 10 are identified as high-risk, Kateh said.

The source of the virus is being investigated and Liberia has requested the assistance of two experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has twice declared the West African nation to be Ebola-free, once on May 9 and again on Sept. 3. Liberia's last Ebola death was in July.

More than 11,300 people have died of the virus since the outbreak was announced in March 2014.

Of the three countries hardest hit, Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7 and Guinea started its own countdown to zero on Nov. 16.

Over 4,800 people died of Ebola in Liberia, according to WHO figures. - Reuters.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak


SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Mars May Become A RINGED PLANET - May Completely Crush Its Innermost Moon Phobos And Form A Ring Of Rocky Debris!

 [Pin It] An artist's impression of a ring around Mars, formed by its tiny moon Phobos. Credit: Made using Celestia, Copyright (C) 2001-2010, Celestia Development Team

November 24, 2015 - MARS
- Mars may one day have rings similar to Saturn's famous halo, new research suggests.

In a few tens of millions of years, the Red Planet may completely crush its innermost moon, Phobos, and form a ring of rocky debris, according to the new work. Phobos is moving closer to Mars every year, meaning the planet's gravitational pull on the satellite is increasing. Some scientists have theorized that Phobos will eventually collide with Mars, but the new research suggests that the small moon may not last that long.

"The main factor affecting whether Phobos will crash into Mars or break apart is its strength," Tushar Mittal, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley and one of the authors of the new research paper, told Space.com by email. "If Phobos is too weak to withstand increasing tidal stresses, then we expect it to break apart."

Strength of a satellite

The two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, are named after the children of the god Ares, the Greek counterpart to Mars, the Roman god of war.

The larger, inner moon, Phobos, is only about 14 miles (22 kilometers) wide, and orbits the Red Planet rapidly, rising and setting twice each Martian day. The tiny moon is slowly moving toward its host — drawing closer to Mars by 6.5 feet (2 meters) every century — which may result in a dramatic crash into the Martian surface within 30 million to 50 million years, previous research has shown.

But after simulating the physical stresses that Mars exerts on Phobos, Mittal and co-author Benjamin Black, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, see a different fate for Phobos. Their research suggests that instead of going out in a single, enormous impact, the moon will be pulled apart by the Martian gravity.

On Earth, the gravitational pull of the moon causes the rise and fall of ocean tides. Although the moon has no oceans, Earth's gravitational pull is still referred to as "tidal forces."

Phobos and other moons in the solar system also feel tidal stress from their hosts. Black and Mittal studied the "strength" of the Martian satellite, including characteristics like composition and density, to determine how much planetary stress the moon could withstand.

After comparing it to several meteorites on Earth, they concluded that Phobos today is made up of porous, heavily damaged rock and is likely the same throughout its interior.

"The moon is probably neither a complete rubble pile, nor completely rigid," Mittal said. "The porosity of Phobos may have helped it survive."

After simulating the stresses caused by the tidal pull of Mars, the pair found that the moon would break up over the course of 20 million to 40 million years, forming a ring of debris around the planet.

The rubble would continue to move inward, toward the planet, though at a slower pace than the larger moon is traveling, they said. Over the span of 1 million to 100 million years, the particles would rain down on the equatorial region of Mars, Mittal and Black said.

Initially, the ring could be as dense as Saturn's, but it would become thinner as the particles fell down onto the planet over time, they added.

An inward-moving planet

Saturn isn't the only planet in the solar system to boast rings; all of the gas giant planets have some form of debris disk surrounding them. While some of the material was likely gathered from space, portions of those ring systems could be the remains of early moons that broke apart as they journeyed inward. Larger moons move inward at a faster pace than their smaller counterparts, causing a much more rapid demise.

"Phobos is unique in that it is currently one of only a couple of inwardly evolving moons in our solar system that we know about," Mittal said. "However, since inwardly evolving moons inadvertently self-destruct, it is possible that more inwardly migrating moons may have existed in the past."

Phobos is the only remaining inwardly migrating moon known to exist today. The tiny, doomed moon may help scientists to better understand the evolution of the early solar system and the fate of other moons already destroyed.

What would a ring on Mars look like?

For an observer standing the surface of Mars, the ring will look different depending on her location.

"From one angle, the ring will reflect extra light towards a viewer, and it will look like a bright curve in the sky," Mittal said. "From another angle, the viewer might be in the ring's shadow, and the ring would be a dark curve in the sky."

Because Phobos is made up of dark material that doesn't reflect light well, the ring might be difficult to spot from Earth with an amateur telescope. However, Mittal suggested that the ring's shadow on Mars could be visible.

Confined to a single, stable disk, the ring — if it forms — shouldn't create too many problems for the exploration of, or travel to, the Red Planet, Mittal said. However, "Any deorbiting ring particles could be a potential hazard for a Mars base built near the equator," he added.

The research was published online today (Nov. 23) in the journal Nature Geoscience.


INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Fiery Bus And Car Crash In Mexico - 24 People Killed!

An official says 22 bodies were recovered from the bus and two from the car (AAP)
November 24, 2015 - MEXICO - A car slammed into a bus near Mexico's Gulf coast, causing a fiery crash that left 24 people dead and another 10 injured, authorities said Monday.

Civil defense authorities in Veracruz said the compact car and the bus collided on a highway in the neighboring state of Puebla. Two people died in the car, and 22 aboard the bus as the vehicle was consumed by flames.

The bus had set out from the Veracruz city of Poza Rica on Sunday. Apparently many of the passengers were students, but authorities were still working to identify the dead.

The state civil defense office said the car apparently struck the bus' doors, preventing the occupants from getting out. Flames consumed the bus, leaving it a burnt-out hulk.

About 10 passengers got out through the bus' windows. Ten people were injured in the crash, apparently all of those who got out. - Yahoo.


NEW WORLD DISORDER: Terrorism, False Flag Distractions, Societal Collapse And Civilizations Unraveling Ahead Of The Black Celestial Event - U.S. State Department Issues Worldwide Travel Alert For Americans; Warning Comes Amid Increased Terror Threats!

November 24, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- The US has issued a worldwide travel alert for its citizens in response to "increased terrorist threats".

The state department said "current information" suggested the Islamic State [IS] group, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and others continued "to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions".

The alert, it said, will remain in place until 24 February 2016.

France, Russia, Mali and several other countries have seen deadly attacks in the past month.

A US state department representative told BBC News there was "currently... no reason to believe that US citizens would be specifically targeted".

Meanwhile Belgium announced the capital Brussels would stay at the highest level of alert for another week over fears of militant attacks like those that killed 130 people in Paris on 13 November.

The alert comes as Belgian authorities say the capital Brussels will stay on its highest terror alert level for another week

In other developments
  • An apparent explosives belt was found in a bin in the Paris suburb of Montrouge, which a fugitive suspect is believed to have passed through on the night of the Paris attacks
  • France carried out its first air strikes against IS from its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, newly deployed in the eastern Mediterranean, reportedly hitting targets in Iraq and Syria, including the IS stronghold of Raqqa

The travel alert advises US citizens to "exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation".

They are also advised to "be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places".

"Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da'esh [IS] return from Syria and Iraq," the state department said.

A US worldwide travel alert is unusual but not rare.

Similar advice, which applies everywhere bar the US itself, was issued twice in 2011 - following the death of Osama Bin Laden and on the tenth anniversary of the 11 September attacks. There was a further warning in August 2013.

Security is tight in New York ahead of Thanksgiving

The most recent worldwide alert came last Christmas in response to an attack in Sydney, Australia, flagging the risk of "lone wolf" attacks, a warning repeated this time using the less colourful phrase "unaffiliated persons".

Such broad warnings have been criticised in the past, both for being so vague as to be of little practical use and for doing the terrorists' job for them by creating a climate of fear in which governments may introduce repressive policies.

But with millions of Americans travelling this week to celebrate Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday, US officials insist the action is a sensible reminder of the global terrorist threat. - BBC.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Experts Say It's Only A Matter Of Time Before The "BIG ONE" Shakes Oklahoma - Over 5,000 Earthquakes Have Been Recorded So Far This Year!

November 24, 2015 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES
- Oklahoma is no longer known as the state where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.  Now, the Sooner State also leads the world in seismic activity.

This year, more than 5, 000 earthquakes have been recorded and studied in our state. Residents have become accustomed to the little shaking, rattling and rolling.

However, experts say earthquakes in Oklahoma will likely increase in magnitude over time.

Now, research said it's only a matter of time before we get a big one that will change life for those of us living here.

Over the years, damage has been caught on camera.

"Well, Oklahoma State pulled out a squeaker there," the Cowboys fan said on video in 2011 when the room began to quake. "We're having an earthquake. Do you hear that?"

In 2011, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook the state, becoming the largest quake in recent Oklahoma history.

Now, research shows a bigger, stronger one could hit soon.

"Isn't this lovely?" Jackie Dill, a Coyle resident says shaking a column on her front porch.

For 10 years, Dill has called this 1930's Coyle house her home.

"Up here on the roof, I want you to see, this really worries me," Dill says pointing out a spot on her roof. "Hit so hard we can see the rafters creaking right? We walked out and do you see the bump in the roof where the rafter is peaking up?"

Now, her house buckles each time the seismometers catch any ground quaking action.

"When I moved in in 2005, none of this was here. None of these cracks, not one," Dill said.

Fast forward 10 years later, you wonder how it's still standing.

"I now invest on lots of mortar for the rocks, I buy it by the bagfuls," Dill says.

But a little mortar to help the visible cracks won't help the underlying problems.

"We really just planned to live out the rest of our life here and be comfortable, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen, we thought we had it all, we really did," Dill said.

Now Jackie, like many Oklahomans, is waiting for the one that's sure to crumble her home.

"There's a lot of us out here, what are we going to have to do to get their attention?" Dill says.

"It's unclear exactly how high we might go, and the predictions are upper 5-6 range for most things that I've seen," Todd Halihan, a researcher from OSU, says.

Halihan studies these quakes; his expertise is hydrogeophysics.

"Underneath any of these urban areas, whether it's Stillwater, Cushing, Oklahoma City, Guthrie, these cities are not built to seismic standards. They're not in L.A." Halihan said.

What would happen to the Devon tower, Chesapeake Arena, our bridges and our roads if a big one hit in the center of Oklahoma City?

"We have a lot of buildings that were built with earthquakes not even on the radar screen, so we would expect probably a fair bit of damage," Halihan said.

"There's just so much. It's, you know, I've done all my crying and now I'm just angry, I'm so angry," Dill says. "Anything that has to do with the state we might as well forget."

"We're not out ahead of it yet, we still have fires burning, and we're trying to get ahead of those fires, but we're not there yet," Matt Skinner, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said.

"The changing point I think was the Prague quake, because as a result of that, we had a hearing as to how we should proceed in the Prague area for oil and gas exploration," Skinner says.

Many people believe the commission is sitting back and watching the quakes happen, but they say that's not the case.

Our cameras were given a rare look at the work.

"March of this year, we issued a directive that applied to over 300 disposal wells that dispose into the Arbuckle formation that said prove that you are not in the basement, in other words, you haven't drilled too deep," Skinner says. "So the idea was to dial back the total volume for the area that's going down to a pre-seismicity level."

We wondered why it's taken until this year to see action, OCC says they were waiting on data from oil and gas companies.

Information that by law, does not have to be shared, but now they're handing it over.

"An arrangement was eventually come to where there's a regular exchange now between the oil and gas industry,"Skinner says.

What they called a game-changer in slowing down the quakes.

"All of the sudden, for the first time, we're seeing stressed faults, where seeing where the basement faulting is" Skinner says.

But is the oil and gas industry being completely forthcoming?

"It's a great question, it's a logical question and people don't ask it enough," Skinner said. "It is being used if you will, against them and yet the data hasn't slowed, if anything it's increased. The big problem we face right now is not that we don't have enough data to analyze, the big problem we have right now is we don't have enough people to analyze it."

Behind the scenes work to help stop the shaking.

"It's crystal balling it and that's quite tricky with earthquakes. Anybody who's tried to make earthquake predictions usually ends up wrong," Halihan said.

"We eat it, sleep it, breathe it, this is the focus of the people down here and they will not rest until they we've done everything they know they can do," Skinner says.
In rural Oklahoma, data doesn't mean much, just simple living and a call for immediate change.

"I'm really fighting the tears because I've done a lot of crying trying to figure out, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? And if there's me, there's so many other people. It's not just me, it's not just my story, it's thousands of stories," Dill says. "It's our homes, it's where we live, it's my heart and it's ripping it apart, that's what it's doing."

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission continues shutting down wells and reducing injection amounts. They have set up a site to get more information about what is happening in Oklahoma.

There is no research saying if the earthquakes will stop or when the big one could hit. - KFOR.

Tectonic Summary - Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region

Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity
Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York - Philadelphia - Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes. Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era. In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.

Induced Seismicity
As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced.

Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region.


WEATHER PHENOMENON: The Sky Is On Fire - Fiery Lenticular Cloud Photographed During Sunset Over Letojanni, Italy! [PHOTOS]

This fiery lenticular cloud formed in the sunset sky of Italy on November 21 2015.

November 24, 2015 - ITALY - The sky is on fire.

On November 21, 2015, these incredible lenticular clouds appeared in the sky over Letojanni, near Etna in Italy.

As if the lenticular cloud was about to swallow up Mount Etna.

The sky was on fire

Insane colors and lencticular cloud…

Two weeks ago, an army of lenticular clouds engulfed the sky of Cape Town, South Africa. - Strange Sounds.


PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Mexican Capital, Swaying Buildings - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 24, 2015 - MEXICO
- An earthquake rattled central Mexico on Monday, swaying buildings in Mexico City. Some office workers rushed to the streets in the capital.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera wrote in his Twitter account that there was no immediate word of damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 5.5 and its epicenter was in the sparsely populated mountains north-east of Acapulco, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Mexico City. The quake was also felt strongly there, but no damage was immediately reported.

Because of its site on an unstable former lakebed, Mexico's capital often feels such quakes strongly even if they occur some distance away.

USGS shakemap intensity.

Journalist Eduardo Garcia, 54, said the quake "felt pretty strong" on the 14th floor of a Mexico City office building.

"Anyone who has been in Mexico for many years knows which are the strong ones and which aren't," Garcia said. "On the 14th floor, the procedure is to get close to a column or a wall and wait for the building to stop moving, and then get down the stairway."

Accountant Rosa Maria Olivares, 42, was already on the street when the quake hit, but said "we left where we were and got out into the middle of the street, in case any buildings fell down. I'm just hoping to get over the fright." - KABC-TV.

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico's southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California's San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos ("smoking mountain" and "white lady", respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics