Quakes jolt Azerbaijan’s regions

By Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan faced the strongest earthquake of the new year, as the quake of 5.0 magnitudes on Richter scale was recorded by the Republican Seismological Service Center in Guba region.

The perceptible jolt stroke 27 km to the southeast from Guba, 168 km from Baku, at 7.30 a.m. on January 26.

Another earthquake of 3.5 magnitudes on Richter scale hit Shabran region located 31 km southeast from Guba at 9.36 a.m. Tremors were not felt.

Gurban Yetirmishli, Director of the Center, said these earthquakes didn't leave any casualties; nevertheless, the jolt in Guba was the strongest one so far this year.

The director said some underground activities were recorded in this area in the evening on January 25, which later showed itself as an earthquake. “Aftershocks will continue for a period of time as the earthquake in Guba was a strong one,” he told AzerNews.

Over 20 aftershocks have been recorded in the territory, as the process of energy release is still underway.

Yetirmishli believes there is no danger of a stronger hit here, as the main energy was already released.

Azerbaijan is situated in a seismically active zone of Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt, where mountain formation activity continues, Yetirmishli said. Guba is one of the most seismically active regions of the country.

Over 100 earthquakes were registered in the country this January, however, most of them were not perceptible, he added.

Earlier, the center revealed the first map of potential seismogenic zones in Azerbaijan where strong earthquakes are possible.

These areas are the southeastern slope of the Greater Caucasus, Shamakhi-Ismayilli zone, Ganjabasar, northwestern zones including Sheki, Zagatala, Balaken, the northern zone of Guba, Siyazan, Devechi, Talysh zone, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

Last year was marked with intensification of the seismic processes, as well as the most powerful earthquakes in Azerbaijan for the past 15 years.

Six earthquakes measuring over 5.0 on the Richter scale occurred in Azerbaijan in 2014, releasing a large volume of energy.

Overall, more than 8,000 earthquakes were registered in the country in 2014. These earthquakes occurring at a great depth, forced the tremors affecting a large area, but there was no damage.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

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