The Pacific’s Ring of Fire has become restless recently with volcanoes activating and quakes shaking the Earth’s crust.
The biggest recent quake since Mexico’s 8.2 last September happened on Tuesday in Alaska. It registered 7.9 on the Richter scale and prompted tsunami warnings. School students were sent to shelters but no waves struck. Seismologists said this was because the earthquake was within the Pacific plate and was a so-called “strike-slip earthquake”. This kind of quake does not cause any lift in the plate, which causes tsunami. Plates are part of the Earth’s crust. When they slip past each other,
Other quakes included a 6.4 off the East Russian coast yesterday, a 6.4 off Japan on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a 6.1 rocked Jakarta in Indonesia, causing buildings to sway and office workers to flee in terror. On Sunday a 6.3 quake shook northern Chile.
Meanwhile a skier was killed and at least 15 were injured in Japan on Tuesday when Mount Kusatsu-Shirane erupted. The mountain is known for its ski slopes and hot springs. Video of the event showed black rocks flying through the air, with skiers and snowboarders still on the slopes.
In the Philippines, Mount Mayon has been acting up for more than a week, ejecting ash and lava fountains up to three kilometres into the air. Some 74,000 villagers have had to leave their homes but police had to stop them from sneaking back into dangerous areas.
Also on Sunday, thousands had to be evacuated from Kadovar Island in Papua New Guinea after its volcano erupted after sending plumes of ash since January 5.