Arab Weather - A strong earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, September 8, 2023, at 11:11 pm, with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale, killing more than 800 people and damaging many buildings extending from the villages of the Atlas Mountains to the city of Marrakesh.
The answer: The reason behind the Morocco earthquake is the movement of the African and Eurasian plates. These two plates are converging at a rate of about 4.9 mm per year. The earthquake occurred along the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, a major fault line that marks the boundary between the two plates. The earthquake occurred along the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, a major fault line that marks the boundary between the two plates.
The Azores-Gibraltar transform fault is a right-sided strike-slip fault. This means that the two plates move past each other in opposite directions, but they also slide past each other in sideways motion. When plates slide past each other, it can cause pressure to build up in the rocks. If the pressure becomes too great, it can cause an earthquake.
What distinguishes the earthquake that struck Morocco is that it is a shallow earthquake that occurred at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles), and shallow earthquakes most likely cause greater damage than deep earthquakes.
The geology of the area is also likely a factor that contributed to the intensity of the earthquake; As the area consists of relatively soft sedimentary rocks; This facilitates the process of breaking them, and makes them more vulnerable to the movement of tectonic plates, which leads to the release of a large amount of energy.
In simple words, the cause of the Morocco earthquake is the movement of plates and their friction with each other. This causes a buildup of great pressure between the rocks, which is eventually released in the form of a superficial or shallow earthquake. Which makes it even more destructive.
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