Three earthquakes of significant intensity struck Monday in various parts of Asia. While it is not unknown for quakes to occur in clusters, especially along a single fault line, these quakes are spread across a wide geologic area. While all took place in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," they were triggered in widely separated geologic zones.
The first struck at 09:24:31 Greenwich Mean Time near the coast of Honshu, Japan. This quake measured 6.9 on the Richter scale.
The second hit Halamahera, Indonesia at 19:23:28 GMT, and was measured at 7.0 on the Richter scale.
The third struck Mindanao in the Philippines at 23:13:29 GMT, and was measured at 6.8 on the Richter scale.
As of the posting of this story, these quakes are relatively new, and there are no damage reports. However, both Halamahera and Mindanao are populated areas. A much smaller quake, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, was reported on Halamahera on May 16.
The most recent significant earthquake to cause damage was the 6.8 quake that struck northern Algeria on May 21 and took 2,200 lives.
We don't yet understand how earthquakes could be related to our changing climate.
Readers please note: As of 5/27/03, the Mindanao earthquake had not been reported by the US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program. Their failure to post this quake is unusual. However, it was noted by Seismo-Watch and other international earthquake resources at the time that it happened. We trust that USGS will post this quake to their website, with the correct date and time of event.
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