Why is the recent earthquake in Morocco rare to see? Here are the keys to understanding how the earthquake that hit the African country occurred.
Morocco has become the latest location to be the victim of a natural disaster, without forgetting what happened in Libya with the last-minute floods. The African country has seen how many of the buildings collapsed in just a few seconds, causing the death of thousands of people. After what happened, experts soon got to work to find out what could have caused an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale.
What has happened on this occasion? The earthquake that hit Morocco on September 8 was due to an event that is not usually common. After carrying out the corresponding investigations, it has been concluded that everything was due to an event known as ‘reverse failure’. This is a geological phenomenon that does not occur very often. Let’s see, in more detail, what this natural event in the tectonic plates consists of and why it can be so virulent.
Reverse fault, this is the typology of the earthquake that occurred in Morocco
This seismic event occurs when in a hanging wall, the rock located above the fault line moves against the lower wall. Contrary to what traditionally happens between tectonic plates, on this occasion there was a crash. This has caused a large release of stored energy, giving rise to what happened recently. The portal The Conversationwanted to address the case through a study carried out by Jesús Galindo-Zaldivar, professor of Geodynamics at the University of Granada.
Based on the magnitude of the earthquake, The fault could be up to 30 kilometers long. It is believed that the tension generated by the earthquake was growing unsustainably for a long time, all of it being released in just a few seconds. This, in an area that was not especially prepared to withstand these shaking of the earth, has ended up causing a catastrophe of disproportionate dimensions. It should be remembered that the affected area does not stand out, precisely, for having buildings with high quality materials.
The reverse failure, as has been proven, can generate the same destruction as what occurs when a lateral slide occurs between tectonic plates. The frontal crash is less likely to occur, but does produce a large mass release. Be that as it may, these types of natural disasters cause more or less damage depending on the location. After all, many of the buildings affected by the earthquake were made of adobe, with everything that entails.
In this particular earthquake, the presence of aftershocks is very common, so it is advisable to shore up buildings. At the same time, it is recommended to prohibit entry and return to homes in which cracks have occurred at a structural level. Knowing what to do in the event of an earthquake can save lives. Future building collapses may occur in the coming weeks as a result of further shaking. Therefore, extreme caution must be exercised over the next few weeks, as small earthquakes capable of causing great destruction may occur.