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Earthquake Weather Review-Update for March-April 2015
As can be seen in the above map of the eastern area of Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.), the eclipse path for the April 10, 2013 solar eclipse was just under 500 kms from the epicenter of the 7.45 magnitude earthquake of late March, 2015, in the area of the island of New Britain in the P.N.G. Area. Interestingly, there were three earthquakes of from 6.5 to 7.0 magnitude occurring in the same general area one to two months prior to this same eclipse. I had written a hub related to that and suggested that a larger earthquake as high as 8.5 magnitude was possible there in the near future. Now that we have had a 7.5 magnitude event there, the chances haven't lessened. As early as April 1st or 2nd, 2015, there could be a larger seismic event occurring in the same area (in my Earthquake Weather Report for April 2015, I had mistakenly given different potential locations for an earthquake at that time).
This last big quake, along with two mid 6 magnitude earthquakes which hit hours later, not far from the island of Tonga, may just be hinting that April (just as I suggested in an earlier hub) could be a bigger month for earthquakes than most of March had been. As was spelled out in a prior hub, December 2014 and January 2015 were both below average months, February was average and, if it weren't for the late activity in the month, March would have been below average as well.
In a statistically typical month it would be normal or average to see two earthquakes of 6.5 and 6.6 magnitude, one of 6.8 magnitude, and one of 7.1 magnitude. Instead there was one earthquake of 6.5 and one of 7.45 magnitude, but the later quake produced more than twice the energy of the four hypothetical quakes just mentioned in the prior sentence. That is even though there were only half as many 6.5 magnitude or greater earthquakes than is usually the case.
My intention when forecasting earthquakes is to predict the most likely times and places for those of 6.8 magnitude or greater. Such quakes occur on average two times each month (while 6.5 or larger quakes occur twice as often). If it was not for the 7.45 magnitude event late in the month, no event would have gone above the bar that I have set for forecasting and thus there would have been no positive or negative results. As it turned out, since there was a 55% chance of an earthquake falling inside rather than outside of my designated windows, the results were better than the odds by 1.8 times.
Interestingly, if the flurry of activity late in the month is set aside and one looks at all activity in the first four weeks, one finds a 6.4 magnitude event occurring less than six hours after the highest peak in Astro-aspect values for the month. It also happened 6-7 minutes prior to a sub peak which was one of the higher ones for the month. This earthquake, which was located in northern Chile, was possibly related to an 8.2 magnitude earthquake which occurred in the same general area on April 1st, 2014 (and appeared to set off a worldwide flurry of activity for the next 18 days in the 7.1 magnitude or higher range). Seismologists expect an even bigger earthquake, not far from this 8.2 magnitude event in the not too distant future (likely within the next few decades).
Also of interest was a 6.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of central Chile, occurring on March 18, 2015. That quake was a likely aftershock to the 8.8 magnitude earthquake of February 27, 2010. The 6.2 magnitude event was listed as significant by the USGS, as was also a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Colombia on March 10, 2015. This last earthquake was isolated, not near any other earthquakes during the last eleven years, but it was deep, over 150 kms deep (roughly 100 miles), so it was harmless, doing no damage to structures on the surface of the earth.
One quake of 6.15 magnitude was listed by the USGS as insignificant, but I disagree. It occurred on March 3, 2015, and was located off the west coast of Sumatra in the middle of a small seismic gap. This could potentially be a fore-shock to a much bigger earthquake in the 7.1-8.0 magnitude range.
One potential date for such a possibility would be on April 7, 2015. Another potential date is April 10, 2015, when I estimate that there is a 50% chance of a 6.5 magnitude or greater earthquake occurring somewhere in the world (possible locations given at the end of this hub).
Another possibility for April 2015—also not previously addressed in the “Earthquake Weather Report for April 2015”—is a potential earthquake on April 25, 2015 (most likely in or not far from Iceland). The reason that this possible event was not covered earlier was because it relates to the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse, which I should have paid closer attention to.
My “Earthquake Weather Report for May 2015” should be published around the middle of April. Until then, here is an updated list of date ranges and potential epicenter locations for earthquakes in the targeted 6.8 magnitude or larger range:
2015-04/01, 0400UT – 04/03, 0000UT [44 hours]: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Pacific islands east of there and north of and including northern New Zealand.
2015-04/03, 0000UT – 04/04, 1800UT [42 hours]: China/Taiwan, Japan, Aleutians, western USA, New Zealand, Peru/Chile, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. A very short lunar eclipse happens on 04/04 and may induce a significant earthquake in areas where the eclipse becomes total near the horizon (such as in Tokyo, Japan and Nabire, Pulau Papua).
2015-04/05, 1500UT – 04/13, 1200UT [7d21h]: China/Taiwan, Japan, Aleutians, western USA, Papua (Indonesia), New Zealand, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. On 04/07, there is a chance of an earthquake off the central west coast of Sumatra. On 04/10, there is a 50% chance of an earthquake, occurring somewhere in one of the above locations, during a 26 hour period centered on 1600UT.
2015-04/14, 1100UT – 04/16, 1800UT [55 hours]: Caribbean, China/Taiwan, Japan, Aleutians, western USA.
2015-04/18, 1500UT – 04/20 1200UT [45 hours]: Caribbean
2015-04/21, 1400UT – 04/22 0000UT [10 hours]: (PNG and/or Solomon Isls).
2015-04/24, 0300UT – 04/26, 1200UT [57 hours]: China/Taiwan, Japan, Aleutians, western USA, Caribbean. On 04/25, there is a larger than usual chance of a 6.8 magnitude or larger earthquake occurring in Iceland, or at least within 1,000kms of there.
2015-04/29, 1400UT – 04/30, 0600UT [16 hours]: Same as the last window (with the possible exception of Iceland).
© 2015 Joseph Ritrovato