Earthquake Review: August 2022

Published: 09/01/2022

Summary of damaging earthquakes in August 2022: Very low seismicity and losses.

General summary:

18 damaging earthquakes, no casualties, two injuries and only 160 buildings damaged in twelve countries. Possibly the month with the lowest number of earthquake losses ever recorded.

Damaging earthquakes:

Minor damage on Bali (M5.5), minor damage on Sumatra (M5.8), minor damage in Siberut (M6.0): Indonesia was the worst hit country in August with three damaging earthquakes, two injuries on Bali and Sumatra and around 30 buildings damaged. However, many thousands of people were temporarily evacuated in these areas in fear of aftershocks.

Tsunamis:

No earthquake-related tsunamis were observed in August 2022

Volcanic Eruption:

The sequence of earthquakes in south-western Iceland, that began in late July, continued in early August, including two moderate (M4.8 and 5.0) earthquakes that caused minor damage. With the beginning of the volcanic eruption on August 4th, that lasted two weeks, the seismicity declined.

On Ta'u Island of American Samoa, an earthquake swarm is ongoing since the second half of August. Some of these events were felt strongly but without known damage. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory attributes these quakes to renewed activity of the Holocene volcano on the island and raised the alert level to Yellow.

Landslides:

A M5.1 earthquake in northern Hokkaido, Japan on August 10th caused a partial road collapse. This event was part of a very shallow sequence of quakes that are likely connected to an ongoing slow-slip event in the deeper part of the fault zone.

Minor landslide activity followed a strong (M5.5) aftershock on Luzon, Philippines on August 27th.

Induced earthquakes:

In Central Vietnam, a sequence of earthquakes is ongoing since April 2021 due to the impoundment of a new reservoir. So far, minor damage was caused by these events which reached up to Magnitude 4.5. On August 23rd, a new magnitude record for Central Vietnam was set by a 4.8 event at this reservoir. Additional damage to some houses was caused.

Other earthquakes:

A sequence of small earthquakes in Madhya Pradesh, India on August 12th caused damage to around 20 houses. These quakes are related to recent rain falls (monsoon), a typical phenomena in parts of Central India.

As in Madhya Pradesh, a quake in Labé, Guinea on August 8th remained undetected by seismological agencies, though caused damage to buildings. Labé has previously been hit by earthquakes in 2020 and 2021. The newest event is likely a late and very shallow aftershock.

Contradicting information are coming from Saudi-Arabia: A magnitude 3.6 earthquake has hit the province of Al-Bahah on August 31st. Some reports mention damage to a school and buildings in nearby villages and a small landslide. However, official souces do not confirm this. We added this quake to our database as a doubtful event.

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