Since Tuesday morning, several earthquakes have been detected across central and northern Chile. Despite the regions’ high seismicity, the recent frequency in tremors raises concern. Chilean authorities are therefore closely monitoring these movements over the next few days.
Since 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, nine earthquakes have been reported in and around Huasco, Punitaqui, Cuya, El Salvador, Santa Cruz, and Los Vilos. Of these, four registered 5.0 or greater on the Richter scale. The other five all registered between 3.8 and 4.2.
Earthquakes are a common event in Chile (as a recent article by the University of Chile noted, the country registered 7,436 in 2021 alone), nevertheless, “what is somewhat unusual is the occurrence of them in an interval of less than 12 hours, so the [National Seismological Center (CSN)] continues to monitor the seismicity of the area,” notes the CSN.
Chile is situated on top of the South American tectonic plate, which is in proximity to the Nazca and Antarctic plates. The convergence of these plates is what causes the quakes felt up and down the country. According to the CSN, “due to its greater speed of convergence, the interaction between the Nazca and South American plates is responsible for the most active seismicity in the country.”
Ishaan Cheema is an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary, studying Kinesiology, with a focus on Exercise and Health Physiology. He always had a passion for globalism and political journalism, which he explored through Model UN conferences, debate teams, and several other extracurriculars.