Update: 15th quake in the Ethio-Eritrea border [US Geological Survey report]

5.7-magnitude_Earthquake on Eritrea Ethiopia Sunday June 12 around 9 PM London Time

Updated again with its effect in Mekele, al-H̨udaydah, Assab towns.


Areas in the Eritrean Ethiopian border had been hit by a series earthquakes for 6 hours on Sunday, according to the reports from the United States Geological Survey(USGS) National Earthquake information center.

According to USGS report, there had been 15 earthquake occurrences starting on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 15:37:05 UTC – that is, 3:37 PM London Time or 6:37PM Ethiopian Time.

The latest took place on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 21:41:57 UTC – that is, 9:41PM London Time or 12:41 AM Ethiopian Time(Sunday mid-night).

The strongest was 5.7 magnitude which occurred twice around 9 PM London Time(12 PM local time), while most measured 4.5-4.8 magnitude on Richter scale. It should be noted that earthquakes of less than 3 magnitude are mostly almost imperceptible, while those beyond 7 magnitude are the most dangerous. The recent earthquake in Japan last March had measured 9.0 magnitude.

The strongest earthquake recorded on the Red sea are had been 6.2-magnitude on July 20, 1884, according to media reports. 

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake had been felt in towns as far away as 200 KMs, according to USGS. 

Its effect in Mekele, Ethiopia and al-H̨udaydah, Yemen, which are about 200 KM away from epicenter, is measured as 4 MMI level, while in the Eritrean port town Assab, which is only 133 KM away had been 5 MMI level.

The two MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale) levels are defined as:

MMI 4 – Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. At night, some awakened. Dishes, windows, doors disturbed; walls make cracking sound. Sensation like heavy truck striking building. Standing motor cars rocked noticeably.

MMI 5 – Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. Some dishes, windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop.

Though the media reports claimed the epicenter of Sunday’s earthquake had been in Eritrea USGS reports indicate at least two of the occurrences were in Ethiopia.

An unprofessional map reading indicates the epicenter of two earthquakes – that is, of 5.0 and 4.5 magnitude – had been in the North-Eastern Ethiopian, in Afar region. The Ethiopian Geological Survey Institute is expected to confirm this report.

Read below the latest Preliminary Earthquake Report by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center.

[The previous 14 reports had already been posted in the previous post in this blog – Here]

Magnitude 4.6
Date-Time · Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 21:41:57 UTC

· Monday, June 13, 2011 at 12:41:57 AM at epicenter

· Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 13.309°N, 41.668°E
Depth 15.3 km (9.5 miles)
Distances 120 km (74 miles) WNW of Assab, Eritrea
215 km (133 miles) SW of Al Hudaydah, Yemen
238 km (147 miles) E of Mekele, Ethiopia
371 km (230 miles) SE of ASMARA, Eritrea
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 29.9 km (18.6 miles); depth +/- 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Parameters NST= 33, Nph= 34, Dmin=326.2 km, Rmss=0.99 sec, Gp=122°,
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=5
Event ID usc00045y9

Daniel Berhane

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