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Global Largest Earthquakes in May 2022

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake report, we witnessed 1,186 earthquakes with a magnitude 4 and above in May 2022.  
Among them, 1,041 were of magnitude 4 to 4.9, 134 of magnitude 5.0 to 5.9, and 11 of magnitude 6 and above1. 

In May we witnessed 273 earthquakes less than in April, 14 more than in March, and 210 more than in February.  
The largest earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 occurred on May 26th in southern Peru, in the Andes mountains, north of Lake Titicaca at a depth of 217.8 km.

Peru is one of the Pacific Ocean countries that lie on the so-called Ring of Fire, where 85% of the planet's seismic activity takes place.1 You can read more about the Ring of Fire and other earthquake-prone areas here. Peru sits at the interface between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The earthquakes normally occur due to the compressional tectonics where the South American Plate moves towards and over the Nazca Plate. This in turn can generate earthquakes along with the interface between the two plates. This process also caused the rise of the Andes Mountain range.

The following picture shows the Quantectum Earthquake Forecasting System model with an active global tectonic wave that contributed to regional instability and triggered the Mw7.2 earthquake and several M4.0+ earthquakes in that period in the wider region of Central and South America and in China. 

The quake swayed some buildings in La Paz, the capital of neighboring Bolivia, where people ran into the streets. Citizens in Peruvian cities such as Arequipa, Tacna, and Cusco, as well as in northern Chile, also felt the earthquake, but local authorities and radio stations did not report damage or victims.2 

Quantectum’s short report on the Peru earthquake is available here

The second largest earthquake in May was of a magnitude 6.9 and depth of 10 km, 40 km north of Macquarie Islands. We reported about it in our weekly earthquake video analysis and forecast here.

No damage was reported for this earthquake.

The third largest was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, which occurred on the 10th of May in Jujuy, Argentina at the depth of 220 km. 

The fourth largest earthquake in May occurred 2.7 km southwest of Port Vila, Shefa Province, Vanuatu on April 10th, 2022. The magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km and was felt by many people in the wider epicentral area. However, it did not cause significant damage, other than objects falling from shelves, and broken windows among others. 

The deadliest earthquake occurred on the 24th of May in Afghanistan, Badakshan, 63 km southeast of Farkhār. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake that occurred at the depth of 106.2 km caused damage to several houses in Jurm. Two people died and another was injured when their house collapsed. The earthquake was caused by the collision between the Eurasian tectonic plate to the north and the Indian plate to the south. 

Check out our weekly video forecasts here and always be prepared!

 

Sources: 
1) Bacon, John. USA Today. Magnitude 7.5 earthquake rocks Peru, topples centuries-old church tower. Accessed on 2022-03-03. Available at: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2021/11/28/magnitude-7-5-earthquake-rocks-peru-topples-centuries-old-church-tower/8785518002/ 
2) AP News. Strong quake shakes southern Peru, but no report of victims. Accessed on 2022-06-01. Available at: https://apnews.com/article/caribbean-peru-earthquakes-f4fb07c65ac5270732afc8ebcbbcebb1 

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