Spectacular footage has emerged of a giant crack that opened up across farmland in North Mexico, severing a highway.
The drone footage travels along the 1km long crack, which has some claiming was caused by the San Andreas Fault.
Geologists at the University of Sonora say it’s more likely the result of land collapsing above an underground stream.
In places, the crack is five metres across and up to three metres deep.
No one has been reported injured by the event, but there is rising awareness about the increase in seismic activity in eastern and central USA.
A recent CBS report claimed earthquake activity in the region is double the first quarter average since 1979.
The average rate of big earthquakes — those larger than magnitude 7 — has been 10 per year since 1979, the study reports. That rate rose to 12.5 per year starting in 1992, and then jumped to 16.7 per year starting in 2010 — a 65 percent increase compared to the rate since 1979. This increase accelerated in the first three months of 2014 to more than double the average since 1979.
The Wall Street Journal last month reported that “the frequency of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. has quintupled, to an average of 100 a year during the 2011-2013 period, up from only 20 per year during the 30-year period to 2000”.
In 1811-12, several earthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone, which stretches from the US southwest to Missouri, were so powerful they were felt over 130,000 square kilometres and rerouted the Mississippi River.
A program manager for the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium told the WSJ there was a 25 per cent chance of a magnitude 6 or greater quake in the New Madrid zone in any 50-year period, but the zone hasn’t seen any notable activity since 1895.
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