Morocco quake not in most active area but expect aftershocks: Expert
Moroccans count their losses following a devastating earthquake.Pix: the New Arab.
The powerful earthquake that struck Morocco, killing more than 2,0people, didn’t hit in the most active seismological region, said one French expert. But aftershocks can be expected, he warned.
Philippe Vernant — a specialist in active tectonics, particularly in Morocco, at the University of Montpellier — anquestions’s question’s on the devastating quake.
– Was the Morocco quake a surprise? –
Morocco is one of those countries where the question is not whether there will be earthquakes.
The Agadir earthquake (magnitude 5.7 in 1960) destroyed the entire city and killed almost 15,000 people, and more recently there was the Al Hoecima earthquake (magnitude 6.4 in 2004), further out on the Mediterranean.
Looking further back in history, there were earthquakes in the 18th century, probably around magnitude 7 in the Fez region.
The epicentre of the recent quake is not in the most active area of Morocco. But there are the High Atlas mountains… This type of earthquake is what leads to the rise of the High Atlas range.
– Was the Morocco quake similar to the one in Turkey in February? –
In Turkey, we had horizontal movement, because Turkey is shifting to the West, moving towards Greece. There was a horizontal sliding of the (tectonic) plates.
Here, we’re seeing more of a convergence between Africa and Eurasia or Iberia, the Spanish part, and overlapping faults… But we are still dealing with plate boundaries.
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