Rabat - Geologists published findings on Tuesday of a new tectonic fault stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco. Researchers believe the fault is the reason for several earthquakes that have occurred in Morocco and Spain.
Rabat – Geologists published findings on Tuesday of a new tectonic fault stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco. Researchers believe the fault is the reason for several earthquakes that have occurred in Morocco and Spain.
Two earthquakes occurred in the northern town of Al Hoceima in 1994 and 2004. The latter earthquake had a recorded 6.5 magnitude on the Richter scale with over 600 dead, 900 injured, and thousands displaced.
Spain’s African enclave, Melilla, also felt the effects of the 2004 earthquake, and soon enough, Melilla had an earthquake of their own in 2016. Melilla’s earthquake had a recorded 6.3 magnitude as well as 46 aftershocks in the span of 40 minutes.
The earthquakes did not cause as much damage in the bigger cities because buildings were designed to withstand earthquakes, but rural areas and villages, especially in the Rif mountains, hold higher risk.
The study states that the fault could produce high magnitude earthquakes and alerts that the growth of recent faults could produce earthquakes of higher magnitude than previous disasters.
In the past 10 years, the region of northern Morocco and southern Spain has experienced 75 earthquakes.
The Geological and Mining Institute of Spain stated the center of the 2016 earthquake as part of the Alboran sea in the western section of the Mediterranean.
The research behind Tuesday’s report was completed by scientists from the University of Jaen in Spain, Spain’s Royal Institute and the Observatory of the Navy San Fernando, the Geological Mining Institute of Spain, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, and the US Hydrographic Institute of the Navy.
By Maria Kuiper