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Mar
20
2014

Hazard Highlights

Earthquakes in the Pacific

This week we take a closer look at recent earthquakes located on both sides of the Pacific!

Earthquake in Chile

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards and Shakemap MMI

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards and Shakemap MMI

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake occurred just off of Chile’s northern coast, the earthquake struck the evening of March 17 at 6:16 pm. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami information bulletin after registering tsunami wave activity. Chilean authorities ordered the evacuations of 100,000 people located in the coastal cities of Arica, Iquique, and Antofagasta. No major damages were reported in the region and evacuees were permitted to return to their homes after it had been confirmed that there was no longer a threat. (ReliefWeb, REDLAC)

Chile isn’t the only country in South America experiencing earthquakes, over the past week, on the west coast a large number of earthquakes have been occurring. In the image below take a look at tectonic plate boundaries and earthquake intensity zones in South America. The earthquake intensity zones layer displays the likelihood that an earthquake occurs at a certain magnitude.

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying Tectonic Plate Boundaries and Earthquake Intensity Zones

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying Tectonic Plate Boundaries and Earthquake Intensity Zones

As shown in the image above, the western coast of South America has a high amount of tectonic activity, and the image below shows the large number of earthquakes that have occurred in just the past week.

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards and Earthquake Intensity Zones

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards and Earthquake Intensity Zones

Japan Earthquake

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards and Shakemap MMI

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, displaying PDC Integrated Active Hazards and Shakemap MMI

Over on the other side of the Pacific, Japan experienced a 6.3-magntitude earthquake located 15 km from Kunisaki-shi. The earthquake struck early in the morning on March 13.  Approximately 213,000 people were exposed to strong shaking and local media reported 17 people injured. The earthquake did not create a tsunami risk. (ECHO 14MAR14)

About 50 earthquakes occur on a daily basis worldwide. Many of them are below 5.0 and don’t impact daily activities. For those earthquake 5.0 or larger PDC provides notifications and impact information through Disaster Alert and PDC’s Global Hazards Atlas page.  Earthquakes 5.0 and above are likely to impact populations and disrupt normal life.

Current Hazard Warnings

Drought: Marshall Islands (Northern), United States (Southwest/Pacific)

Flood: Africa (Southeast), Bolivia (Beni), Mozambique (Northern), England (Southeast), Scotland

Severe Weather: Uruguay

Winter Storm: Canada (Nunavut, Quebec)

For real-time information on current disasters download PDC’s free Disaster Alert mobile app available for your iOS or Android devices today! Also be sure to monitor PDC on Twitter, Facebook, and by accessing the Global Hazards Atlas page.