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The Seismic Gap: Why North Chile/South Peru should expect a big earthquake soon

Like it or not, last week’s Iquique quake wasn’t the end of the current series of regional earthquakes, not by a long chalk. You get a lot of coverage of what’s called “the seismic gap” in local Spanish language media (in the way in which proximity focuses the mind, etc) but decent reporting in English is less common so thanks go to reader JT for sending in this link which does a very good job of explaining what it is and why the region should expect an even bigger quake in the near future. Here’s your excerpt:

Initial analyses conducted by GFZ seismologists have shown that there is no sign that tension in the earth’ crust has significantly decreased: “So far tension has been released only in the central section of this vulnerable zone,” Oncken further explains. The series of earthquakes began on March 16 with a 6.7-magnitude earthquake. Although the main earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 broke the central section of the seismic gap of a length of some 100 kilometres, two large segments further north and south remain intact, and these segments are able to cause strong earthquakes with a high risk of ground shaking and tsunamis.Oncken: “This means that the risk of one or even several earthquakes with a magnitude clearly above 8 still exists.” Furthermore, the location and magnitude of the aftershocks suggest such a scenario.

Whole piece here, worthy reading.

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