Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tanzania Earthquake

I am signed up for the US Geological Survey's automated earthquake alert system, and yesterday received an alert about a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in northern Tanzania, about 100 miles south of Nairobi, Kenya. Normally, a moderate quake in a remote region would not get me too worked up, but it so happens that my dad is in Nairobi right now, and some of the African news sources I check described the scene this way
Residents of the Kenyan ca pital city of Nairobi have been thrown into panic after a sixth earth tremor shook the city in the early hours of Tuesday.
source Afriquenlique

As usual, the USGS has all the technical information in an easy to read and access format, here is the location of the quake along with some fore- and after-shocks

And from the Fast Tensor Moment Solution, you can see this is an excellent example of an earthquake on an extensional, or normal fault (this one trending to the northeast.) The quake is related to the opening of the East African Rift.

So, panic in Nairobi, I was worried about my dad. This morning I got the first hand account, whch I now present as a special update from Apparent Dip's foreign correspondent Professor Sunshine

Thanks for the e-mail explaining the earthquake
around here. I didn't feel it, but Margaret said
she did at the [Solar Cookers International] office. It's front page news here,
but no disruptions in Nairobi that I'm aware of.

Good news all around I'd say.


Mrs. Sunshine said...

Enjoyed your information about the Tanzanian earthquake and the first person account from the Professor. I'm not sure that he has ever felt an earthquake (and he was in Cairo for the big 1989 quake in our neighborhood).

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