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Murcia Earthquakes "Could happen again soon"

Source: Yahoo - Tue 13th Nov 2012
Murcia Earthquakes 'Could happen again soon'

Yahoo have reported the Spanish region of Murcia may have been experiencing significant earthquakes in centuries gone by.

The South-Eastern area of Spain has been home to at least 6 earthquakes registering 7.0 or above on the Richter scale in recent years, largely due to a previously little-known fault line.

The report explains that the fault is more active than previously thought and could pose a potential hazard to people living in the region, according to the study, published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin last month.

The study also went on to conclude that the Lorca earthquakes were "man made" , due in part to the practice of drawing excessive amount of water from the surrounding water table, however critics of this theory argue that similar quakes took place in 1674 and 1818 when such methods of water extraction was not commonplace.

Furthermore, findings suggested that the fault has given rise to a number of unusual earthquakes. "During earthquakes, the entire length of the fault does not break," said Jose J. Martínez Díaz, a study co-author and researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid, in a statement. "It does so in segments." These ruptures could give rise to larger earthquakes than previously thought.

"This fault has already produced an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 or 7, thousands of years ago, and could do so again tomorrow," Martínez Díaz said. "As a result, it is vital to bear in mind the earthquake-risk calculations and building codes on the area."

The risk of earthquakes in the area has been underestimated in the past because, until now, officials made estimates of the likelihood of earthquakes based on records from only the last 2,000 years.

The researchers found evidence for past faults by examining sediments in trenches they dug into the fault, some 30mt long and 4mt deep.

The study follows research of the Lorca, Murcia earthquakes of May 2011, together with archaeological evidence of previous earthquakes that have struck the region.

Recommended Reading

Yahoo : Study Reveals Earthquake Dangers in Spain

Study reveals that Lorca earthquakes were "man made"

Comment on this Story

As I understand it - and I was affected by this and other earthquakes - the Ottawa report did not say that the earthquake of May 2011 was caused by man made activity ie. extraction of water over time but that it was a 'contributory factor' to the severity of the earthquake.
Susan Bearder - Fri, 28th Dec 2012
Is the report suggesting that a 7.0 earthquake could happen in the near future ?
Mary - Sun, 18th Nov 2012
Not very reassuring ! They never seem to mention this when promoting the development of housing and infrastructure in Murcia !
Peter Allan - Wed, 14th Nov 2012

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