MANAGUA – A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck on Saturday off the Pacific coast of the central American nation of Nicaragua, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
“Thank God, so far we haven’t heard of any damage,” government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo told local television and radio stations. The quake, which was initially reported by the USGS as being magnitude 6.6, was felt as far away as El Salvador, according to a Reuters witness. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a tsunami warning but said there was no need for action. “Based on all available data a destructive Pacfic-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii,” it said.
The USGS reported the quake’s location at about 31 miles (50 km) west of the Nicaraguan beach town of Masachapa. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a tsunami warning though pronounced there was no need for action. “Based on all accessible information a mortal Pacific-wide tsunami is not approaching and there is no tsunami hazard to Hawaii,” it said.
(Reporting by Ivan Castro in Managua and Will Dunham in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Walsh)
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries after the quake.
Notable Earthquakes near Nicaragua in History and recent.
There have been many earthquakes that have occurred near Nicaragua. There have been many that have been large in size. They had one in 1931 (6.0), then twenty years later on August 2nd 1951 (5.8). Then just a few years later they had another in 1956 (7.3). It seems that every ten to twenty years this occurs, such with the nest in 1968 (4.8), 1972 (6.2), then again twenty years later in 1992 (7.6). Then came 2004 (6.9-7.1), the next year was out of the consistency and it was in 2005 (6.6).
This again looks common for this area for on earthquaketrack.com for the most recent activity looking back a year ago there has been a 4.4 to just hours ago with a 6.5 then with after shocks the most recent being 4.5. You can see that this area sees a lot of them.
Now a bit of a science lesson for those who haven’t been to school for a while and have forgotten what an earthquake is and why it occurs.
Science behind Earthquakes
Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake. When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing against each other, they stick a little. They don’t just slide smoothly; the rocks catch on each other. The rocks are still pushing against each other, but not moving. After a while, the rocks break because of all the pressure that’s built up. When the rocks break, the earthquake occurs. During the earthquake and afterward, the plates or blocks of rock start moving, and they continue to move until they get stuck again. The spot underground where the rock breaks is called the focus of the earthquake. The place right above the focus (on top of the ground) is called the epicenter of the earthquake.
The earth has four major layers: the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. The crust and the top of the mantle make up a thin skin on the surface of our planet. But this skin is not all in one piece – it is made up of many pieces like a puzzle covering the surface of the earth. Not only that, but these puzzle pieces keep slowly moving around, sliding past one another and bumping into each other. We call these puzzle pieces tectonic plates, and the edges of the plates are called the plate boundaries. The plate boundaries are made up of many faults, and most of the earthquakes around the world occur on these faults. Since the edges of the plates are rough, they get stuck while the rest of the plate keeps moving. Finally, when the plate has moved far enough, the edges unstick on one of the faults and there is an earthquake.
Here’s a video to show you this occurance. Note: The video is silent so please turn on some music and read along. It’s only a minute and a half.
By: Forrest L. Rawls
Why do earthquakes happen?