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Canary Islands Earthquake

Source: IGN - Sun 17th Mar 2013

An Earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale struck the Canary Islands earlier this morning.

The National Geological Institute (IGN) reported that the event occurred at 11.37am local time, with an epicentre about 20km off the Northern Coast of Tenerife, and at a depth of 51km.

Whilst the Richter scale is commonly used to determine the energy produced by seismic activities, the Moment Magnitude Scale is used to measure the physical effect that quakes have on the surface. This means that a an Earthquake with a very high Richer number, but at a great depth, may not be felt on the surface, whilst a low Richter quake at a shallow depth may be felt.

Earthquake observers, Scientists and Conspiracy Theorists alike will doubtlessly be joining with local residents in observing seismic activity in the area, given that the Islands have the potential ability to devastate much of the Caribbean and the eastern seaboard of the USA.

Back in 2000 the BBC documentary series, Horizon, predicted what would happen if Volcanic or Seismic eruptions caused a landslide on one of the mountainous, steep-sided Canary Islands - specifically La Palma.

In the event of a landslide on the eastern side of the island, a mass upwards of 4'000'000 cubic meters could crash into the Atlantic and cause a Tsunami that would be as high as 300 ft, and could cross the ocean in just 6 hours.

Whilst many scientists dispute this theory, what they can agree on is that this is exactly what did happen some 50'000 years ago on El Hierro, when a massive landslide create what is now the Vall del Golfo bay on the north of the island, where the resulting Tsunami is thought to have been responsible for the creation of the Florida Everglades.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has been unusually quiet about the situation in the Canary Islands, which has prompted in a number of conspiracy theories being floated around the net. The official line is that there is no direct threat to the USA and therefore nothing to report and no need to cause panic unnecessarily, however whispers are that in the event of such an occurrence very little could be done anyway and that the Government is already secretly planning measure to react to such a disaster.

Conspiracy theorists in America may choose not to watch the Morgan Freeman film 'Deep Impact' in the near future.

Comment on this Story

I never felt a thing on the South of the Island. It can't have been that bad.
Harry Parker - Sun, 17th Mar 2013

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