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May 29, 2009

Geology Director explains the nature of Earthquakes

We reported earlier about the impact of the quake in southern Belize caused by the strong seven point one quake. But for a better understanding of what causes the actual tremors, News Five contacted the Director of Geology and Petroleum, Andre Cho.

Andre Cho, Director, Geology and Petroleum Dept.
“Earthquakes occur near plate boundaries and there are a number of different tectonic plates covering the surface of the earth and the ones near to Belize are the Caribbean plate and the North American plate. Belize lies on the North American plate and the North American plate runs alongside the Caribbean plate. What causes an earthquake is because the plates are sliding beside each other, the rocks are moving beside each other and this causes stress, which builds up in the rock and do to the friction of the rocks the stress or energy is stored in there until the amount of movement overcomes the friction in the rocks and then it causes the rocks to break and release the energy, resulting in strain. That’s what produces the earthquake.”

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