Mariana Islands Earthquake Measures 6.4


At 00:32 in the morning of May 14th, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck the Mariana Islands.  The epicenter was 30 km west of Agrihan, where there is a volcano.

The Mariana Islands are located south of Japan and north of New Guinea, and form the eastern limit of the Philippine Sea.  They are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of fifteen volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean.

The Mariana Islands are the southern part of a submerged mountain range that extends 1,565 miles (2,519 km) from Guam to near Japan. Geographically, the Marianas are the northernmost islands of a larger island group called Micronesia, situated between 13° and 21°N latitude and 144° and 146°E longitude.

The Mariana Islands have a total land area of 389 square miles.  They are composed of two administrative units, Guam, a US territory, and the Northern Mariana Islands (including the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota) which make up a Commonwealth of the United States.

In 2011, the total population of the Islands was listed as 46,050.  That is a decrease of 25,862 from 2000.  That was the largest decrease in population in the world.

Their ethnicity is varied, the largest number being Filipinos at 29%, who are mostly in the northern islands, the second is Chinese at just over 22%.  The remainder are Chamorros, Carolinians, other Micronesians, Caucasians, Japanese, Koreans, and Palauans.

There is no threat of tsunami at this point, and no reports of damage.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express