For those who believe in this Mayan apocalypse, they’re getting an awful lot of fodder lately. From volcanoes erupting in Europe to cruise ships (half-)sinking to earthquake upon earthquake in the Pacific, doomsday-ers must be in their glory.
As for the people of San Francisco, probably not so much.
But they weren’t the only ones to feel the ground shake – a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck in Argentina around 3 o’clock Eastern Time this morning. That earthquake, whose epicenter was 69 miles southeast of Santiago del Estero and was 340 miles deep, caused little damage due only to the fact that it wasn’t near enough to the surface.
A magnitude 4.5 earthquake also hit Iraq on Monday.
The United States Geological Survey says that the quake was actually two separate quakes, each measuring around 4.0 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter of the bigger quake was just 1.24 miles outside of El Cerrito, California, according to the USGS.
El Cerrito is approximately 10 miles from the Bay Area, but is closer to northern areas like Berkeley (4 miles) and Richmond (2 miles).q
While writing this post, the earthquake was downgraded from a 4.3 on the Richter Scale to a 4.0, and no damage has been reported, which is a good sign. San Francisco, which like much of coastal California sits on a fault line, is perennially at high risk for earthquake damage, and while much of the city has been built to withstand strong tremors, nowhere on the planet is immune.
Other earthquakes that have been reported this morning include a magnitude 4.0 quake near Sacramento, CA (90 miles northeast of San Francisco) and a magnitude 2.5 earthquake in southern Italy. Additionally, there have been strong quakes reported in Indonesia and Iraq, but the Argentine earthquake has been the strongest of them all.
While none of the reported earthquakes were strong enough (or close enough to the surface or a populated area) to cause serious damage, the flare-up of seismic activity globally has to have geologists in a tizzy.