The proximity in time of the earthquake that struck the Japanese island of Kyushu on Friday, 15 April and caused more than 500 deaths in Ecuador the day after has worried many.
And that concern has certainly been fueled because the coincidence has led many media to report on other earthquakes that under different circumstances would not have reported.
An example is the earthquake of magnitude 5.8 on the Richter scale was felt near Tonga on Sunday 17 in the morning, when most of the world was just beginning to become aware of what happened in Ecuadorian lands.
And soon, with the help of social networks, many also ended up discovering that in previous days had trembled as far away as Burma, Indonesia and Vanuatu, earthquake kit list
So, the questions are not waiting.
Are we are saying something all these quakes?
Is the temporal proximity of deadly earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador more than a coincidence ?
In the Ring of Fire
The answer in both cases is a categorical no . That is, there is no connection between earthquakes .
And all have in common is that Japan and Ecuador both took place in April and caused two fatalities.
“Japan and Ecuador are so separated from each other as possible be pregnant on this planet , ” says Roger Musson, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey.
“And her tectonic plates are different , ” he tells the BBC.
Indeed, both countries are located on the so – called “Ring of Fire”, but the Ecuador earthquake was caused by the subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South Amercan .
While the Kyushu earthquake which produced at least 42 dead- was produced by a surface fault located on a completely different plate: the Eurasian plate .
And that also made from the seismological point of view the two earthquakes were also completely different.
Thus, the temporal proximity between the two quake was completely accidental.
And statistics also indicate that the match was not even extraordinary .
16 per year
Indeed, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS, for its acronym in English), the data collected from 1900 to date show that there is , on average, 16 major earthquakes per year.
That necessarily means more than one month , although the number of earthquakes with magnitude 7.0 or more may vary significantly from the average.
In 2013, for example, there were 19 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher.
“And in 2013 passed twice we had two earthquakes of great magnitude with only one day apart in two very distant places , ” Musson tells the BBC.
“It seems strange, but if you go to a party and there are 22 others in place, the likelihood would find two birthdate share is 50%,” says seismologist.
“And the possibility that two major earthquakes occur on the same day is 30% , ” he adds.
Too much information?
However, as suggested by the USGS on its website, the way the information currently circulating can make many people jump to wrong conclusions.