Geological experts from the United States and elsewhere noted Saturday that the earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador occurred along the Ring of Fire, which is a long chain of volcanoes and other tectonically active structures surrounding the Pacific.
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This inevitably means that the two powerful earthquakes that rattled both Japan on Friday and Ecuador on Saturday are connected, an expert told The Daily Express.
The 7 magnitude quake in southwestern Japan hit north of the city of Kumamoto, on the island of Kyushu, setting off tsunami alarms, killing at least 41 people, displacing hundreds of thousands, wounding over 2,000 and destroying thousands of buildings and homes. Fortunately, the tsunami alerts were later lifted.
A day later, a 7.8 magnitude quake shook not only Ecuador, but Colombia and Peru as well.
The long lasting quake killed at least 235 people—a death toll likely to rise due to landslides and the difficulty of accessing remote regions that have not been visited—injuring hundreds, displacing thousands and destroying over 250 buildings.
Concern spread across the Latin American country as over 135 aftershocks were reported following the Saturday night quake.
A tsunami alert was also transmitted but later lifted in Ecuador.
According to Roger Bilham, it's not over yet. He insists the quakes in Ecuador and Japan are only an omen of bigger earthquakes to come. Also, quakes were reported this last week in the Philippines, Vanuatu and Myanmar. All countries hit by the recent quakes are on the Ring of Fire.
Bilham, a seismologist at the University of Colorado, told The Daily Express, “The current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude.”
Japan and Ecuador are on the Ring of Fire, a long chain of volcanoes and other tectonically active structures surrounding the Pacific. | Image via U.S. Geological Survey
Bilham referenced the series of powerful earthquakes which struck Asia and South America in the past week and he said these will likely be followed by what he called a “mega” earthquake in the near future. He fell short of predicting when.
But he did say that if the mega quakes continue to be delayed, “the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic 'mega' earthquakes.”
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This is an area spanning the Pacific Ocean where tectonic plates are shifting and seismic and volcanic activity is common, he explained.
The U.S. Geological Survey said “'mega' earthquakes are rare, but not impossible.”The institute added that the Ring of Fire is an area where shifting plates that make up the earth's crusts meet and is capable of generating a magnitude 10 earthquake, which would be tremendously devastating.