An earthquake was reported by USGS Earthquake Hazards Program occurred today off the coast of Anatahan, Northern Mariana Islands measuring 5.1 on the richtor scale. The earthquake was located 47.22 miles off the coast of the Northern Mariana Islands and is part of the Philippine Sea plate.
The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the smaller Sunda plate and the larger Eurasia and Pacific plates. The Philippine Sea plate is unique because its borders are nearly all plate convergence zones. The Pacific plate is located south of Japan, beneath the Mariana island and Izu-Bonin arcs, which extends more than 3,000 km along the Philippine Sea plate eastern margin.
This zone is defined by high-level seismicity and rapid plate convergence extending to depths of over 600 km. The quake that happened today near Anatahan, Northern Mariana Islands is in an area where multiple quakes have occurred because of the plates that it lies in.
Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate has produced 250 large (M>7) events and 7 great (M>8.0) earthquakes. Among the most destructive events were the 1995 Kobe (Japan), the 1948 Fukui and the 1923 Kanto quakes ( 6,400, 99,000, 5,100 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf quake (7,100 casualties). The Moro Gulf earthquake created a tsunami event in the area, with the death toll at more than 5000 deaths. This particular earthquake today off the coast of Anatahan, Northern Mariana Islands measured 5.7M.
By Michele Enli
Photo by Zoriah – License