Argentina and Chile struck by earthquakes as Pacific Ring of Fire rumbles

Saturday, November 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

A MAGNITUDE 4.5 earthquake has struck near the northwestern Argentinian city of San Antonio de los Cobres.

Sat, Nov 3, 2018

The tremor was the third to hit the area in the space of 12 hours and came just hours after the coastal Chilean city of Iquique was rocked by a more powerful magnitude 6.2 quake.

San Antonio de los Cobres is close to the Chilean border on the eastern side of Argentina closest to the Pacific Ocean and its notorious Ring of Fire.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage as a result of the tremors.

The Pacific Ring of Fire is a cast area in the ocean’s basin where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

It covers 25,000 square mile horseshoe shape and is associated with a near-continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs volcanic belts and plate movements.

It has 452 volcanoes – more than 75 per cent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes – and about 81 percent of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

Experts say the activity is is a direct result of plate tectonics: the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates, especially in its northern area.

Southern areas are more complex with a number of smaller tectonic plates in collision with the Pacific plate from the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Bougainville, Tonga, and New Zealand.

Yesterday’s Iquique earthquake sparked a mass exodus from local beaches as frightened Chileans fled to safety.

The quake’s epicentre was located at a depth of 91 kilometres, 118 kilometres north-east of Iquique, Chile, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

There have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage caused by the tremor.

The Chilean 24 Horas news outlet reported aftershocks from the quake instigated the mass exodus of people from Iquique beaches.

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