Any powerful earthquakes expected in Azerbaijan?

12 February 2019 16:40 (UTC+04:00)

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

The detection of aftershocks after earthquakes occurred on February 5-6  in Agsu and Shamakhi regions of Azerbaijan continues.

According to the Republican Center for Seismological Service at ANAS, the public is regularly informed about aftershocks and the situation felt in the earthquake zone.

“It is regrettable to note that some people spread unreasonable information on social networks that supposedly powerful and destructive earthquakes occur in Azerbaijan in order to sow panic among the population. In turn, this creates an inappropriate fear and anxiety among people. Republican seismological service center says that despite the ongoing wave shocks in the zone where the earthquake has occurred, no powerful and destructive earthquakes are expected," the seismological service noted.

The Center noted that among the fixed aftershocks are those that will be felt. Several such jolts have already been registered. Information on this is promptly presented to the public through the official Internet page www.seismology.az and the media. At present, observations of the seismological situation in the region are continuing. Registered felt tremors are not destructive.

Recall that on 5-6 February, tremors were recorded in the territory of Azerbaijan. On February 5, at 11:31 pm local time, 11 kilometers south-west of the Pirguli station, an earthquake occurred on the territory of Ismayilli. According to the Republican Center for Seismological Services, the earthquake of six points was felt in the epicenter, and in the surrounding areas - 3-5 points. Destruction was mainly experienced in the Shamakhi region. On February 6, at 02:34 local time, eight kilometers south-west of the Pirguli station, an earthquake measuring three points occurred on the territory of the Ismayilli region. Another quake was recorded at 04:25 local time. The victims of the incident were provided with emergency medical care, after which they were sent home, there were no casualties.

Azerbaijan saw devastating earthquakes since the ancient times. The first reports on "an overall devastating event that destroyed all towns and villages" is dated back to 427 AD. In 1139 AD, a devastating earthquake with the magnitude of IX took place in Azerbaijan. The town of Ganja was destroyed completely and gross casualties were reported. It is noteworthy that Goygol Lake had been generated as a result of the same earthquake.

In the 19th century, Shamakhi town suffered several devastating earthquakes. Several of them that occurred in 1856, 1861 and 1902 that are considered to be the strongest and devastating.

The 2000 Baku earthquake occurred on November 25 at 22:09 (18:09 UTC) local time with an epicenter just offshore Baku, Azerbaijan. It measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale and the maximum felt intensity. It was followed by a quake measuring 5.9. It was the strongest for almost 160 years, since 1842 in the Baku suburbs and in addition to the capital Sumgayit, Shamakhi and neighboring cities were affected. According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicenter was in the Caspian Sea, 25 km to the south-southeast of Baku.

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