A sequence of man-made earthquakes has hit parts of Germany in November, leaving angry citizens and damaged buildings behind. On November 12th an 13th, two quakes of Magnitude 3.1 and 2.6 hit the town Kehl in Baden-Württemberg state, causing cracks in at least two buildings. The origin of these quakes is located in the French border-city Straßburg, where a new geothermal plant is causing repeated quakes since 2018.
Two more quakes occurred in the former coal mining city of Hamm in Northrhine-Westphalia on November 13th and 23rd as a direct result of the past underground activities. Residents of the suburb Herringen claimed these new quakes have worsened old mining damage.
Damage to more than 10 houses, including damaged roof tiles and door frames, was reported from the town Verden near Bremen in Northern Germany, where a doublet quake (M3.2 and 3.0) happened on November 20th. Due to the production of natural gas, Verden and nearby towns were regulary hit by earthquakes over the past few years.
65 felt earthquakes have been detected during 2019 in Germany, which is considered to be a country with low seismic activity. However, the rate of induced earthquakes in Germany has significantly decreased in 2019. The latest earthquakes do not indicate any changes and their occurrence within a few days is only coincidence
Multiple earthquake have hit the southern shore of Dead Sea on Monday. According to the Geophysical Institute of Israel these quakes occurred near the Jordan town Ghor Hadietah. Shaking from the strongest quakes, which reached Magnitude 3.7 and 3.5, was also felt in parts of Israel.
No reports about damage or injuries are available. The Dead Sea is located within a tectonic basin that was formed by multiple massive earthquakes. In historical times many strong earthquakes have hit the area along the so called Dead Sea Transform Fault, causing repeated massive destruction and millions of casualties. Scientists say a new severe quake on the Dead Sea Transform Fault could happen any time. Most parts of Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon could be affected.
However, earthquake swarms are a commen phenomen in this region.
An earthquake has hit the Canary Island El Hierro on Sunday (Nov. 24). The national geological Survey of Spain (IGN) detected the Magnitude 2.8 quake off the south coast of El Hierro, which was formed by repeated volcanic eruptions. There are no tsunami warnings.
In 2011, a submarine volcanic eruption took place on the sea floor south of El Hierro, forming a new volcanic cone and causing evacuation of nearby villages. The recent earthquake occured only a few miles from this new cone. Renewed volcanic activity there might also influence El Hierro and have a huge impact on tourism and local economy. Thus it is important to continuously monitor the seismic acitivity. All volcanic eruptions are preceded by small earthquakes. Also stronger earthquakes are possible in this region.