Sunday 24 January 2021

A magnitude 7.0 quake, rocks the South Shetland Islands causing panic in Chile with a mistaken tsunami warning: 12th major quake of 2021 highest no since 2009: 45 volcanoes active, 40 along The Pacific Ring Of Fire!


A  very powerful, shallow magnitude 7.1 major quake, reduced to a mag 7.0 by USGS has rocked the South Shetland Islands during the night causing panic in Chile with a mistaken tsunami warning calling for people to get out of coastal areas. The mag 7.0 quake is the 2nd mag 7 quake since Thursday when a powerful magnitude 7.0 rocked the Philippine Islands region. Last nights quake was the 12th major quake, mag 6 or higher to be recorded in just the first 24 days of 2021, with 11 of them being along The Ring Of Fire. At the same stage in 2020, 10 major quakes had been reported, in 2019, 10, 2018, 7, 2017, 8, 2016, 9 and 2015, just 2.

If we go further, 2014 saw just 4 at the same stage, 2013, 3, 2012, 9, 2011, 10, 2010, 11, 2009, 14. 

However, what makes 2021 even more impressive is the number of volcanoes erupting or showing activity at the beginning of 2021. 45 volcanoes are erupting or showing activity at this moment, 40 of them around The Pacific Ring Of Fire, ensuring at least, January 2021  has been a mighty impressive month already for seismic and volcanic activity. 

Meanwhile, authorities in Chile say they regret spreading panic with a mistaken tsunami warning calling for people to get out of coastal areas following an earthquake in Antarctica. The nation's interior ministry said on Twitter a magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck at 8:36pm 216 kilometres north-east of the O'Higgins Chilean scientific base. It called for coastal regions of Antarctica to be evacuated because of tsunami risk. The ministry also sent a message to mobile phones around Chile urging people to abandon coastal areas, though the ministry later said it was sent in error.

"We want to provide peace of mind to the population, tell them that it is not necessary to evacuate the entire national territory, only the Antarctic base," Miguel Ortiz of the ministry's National Emergency Office (ONEMI) told a news conference. He said the agency regretted the inconvenience caused by its messages, which he blamed on a technical error. The tsunami warning for Antarctica was later lifted. People in coastal cities including La Serena, to the north of Santiago, and Valparaiso started to leave areas close to the coast after the warning until reports started appearing that it was a false alarm.

But as Chileans were reacting to the warning, a second tremor, of magnitude 5.6, struck the Chile-Argentina border region at 9:07pm at a depth of 133km, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said. No damage was reported from either quake. Sernageomin said that following the first quake, 80 people were evacuated from Chile's main base in the Antarctic, the Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva Base on Fildes Peninsula west of King George Island, and 55 more from three other bases, along with five foreign bases. The Army said no damage was reported at the Antarctic base.

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