By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan, which has recorded several devastating earthquakes since the ancient times, sees minor quakes on a daily basis due to the dynamics of the Arabian and Eurasian lithospheric plates.
However, 2016 recorded decline in overall seismic activity in the Azerbaijani territory compared to 2015.
Head of the Republican Seismological Service Center Gurban Yetirmishli said that in 2015 Azerbaijan experienced more seismic activity that last year.
"In 2015, earthquakes with magnitude over 5.0 on the Richter scale occurred both at sea and on land. Last year, except the earthquake in Imishli, (with magnitude 5.6 on the Richter scale) other earthquakes were minor. So, 2015 was more active," he told APA.
The last strong earthquakes of the 21st century in Baku occurred in November 2000 measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the strongest for almost 160 years.
Azerbaijan, located within the central part of the Mediterranean mobile belt, is considered to be a seismically active region – a lot of earthquakes occur over Azerbaijan every year, however, majority of them are not felt.
Besides, the geological environment is intruded upon by intensive technical loads such as drilling, set up of deep water platforms, underwater and ground conduits which make the
problem of geological hazard assessment in Azerbaijan more actual and substantial.
Epicenter of bulk of the earthquakes, being recorded in Absheron Peninsula and Baku, are located in the Caspian Sea.
Overall, Baku represents high seismic hazard and the level increases with the time interval, which happens due to the intensive construction of multi-storey reinforced concrete civil and industrial buildings, enlargement of the city area, raise of underground water level and Caspian Sea, landslide activity and so on.