East Africa Rift Archives - Page 2 of 2 - State of the Planet

A Rough Start

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Malawi on Saturday night, December 19, spurred us into action. We had been closely following the earthquakes there, but this one confirmed the unusual nature of the seismic sequence. It also happened to be the most destructive. Leonard Kalindekafe, director of Malawi’s Geological Survey, asked us to come and… read more

by |February 9, 2010

Temporary Seismic Networks Can Help Developing Nations Pinpoint Quakes

Earthquakes can be devastating, as Haiti has shown. They can trigger tsunamis, like the one in Indonesia in 2004, and create enough ground shaking to topple buildings. Aftershocks can prevent people from returning to their homes for weeks, even months. The immediate response to a natural disaster is to search for those lost, treat the… read more

by |February 5, 2010

Continental Breakup in East Africa

Africa is ripping apart along a 4,000 kilometer seam called the East Africa Rift, which stretches from the Red Sea to Mozambique. This huge continental tear started in the north about 25 million years ago and has been gradually unzipping to the south, with rifting in Malawi starting about 10 million years ago. Breaking up… read more

by |February 5, 2010

Scientists Respond to Earthquakes in Malawi

In December, nearly a dozen earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater rattled the southeast African nation of Malawi, killing four, injuring hundreds, and making thousands homeless. The region had been calm for decades, so the earthquakes caught everyone by surprise. But aftershocks continue, and more quakes can be expected. Seismologists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory traveled to Malawi to help assess the risk. Read about their journey here. […]

by |February 5, 2010