Earthquakes during March


    AT least eleven strong earthquakes occurred in the world during March. The greatest, and also the ed on March 4 from a focus having near lat. 36-5° N., long. 70-5° E., in the ush, Afghanistan. The depth of focus was probably rather greater than 200 km. and the strength 7½ on the instrumental scale. Owing to its strength and depth, the shock was felt over a wide area in Afghanistan and the North -West Frontier Province, Pakistan, and although the full extent of the damage is not yet assessed, the earthquake is known to have damaged the Roman Catholic cathedral in Lahore. The next most intense (scale c. 7) was probably that occurring on March 27 from a focus having an epicentre in the Celebes Sea off the southern coast of Cape Mindanoa. Strong shocks on March 16 and 17 had their epicentres in the region of the Bismarck Archipelago. On March 9 an earthquake with strength 5½ and epicentre near lat. 37–1° S., long. 121-3° W., in central California set off burglar alarms and rolled stones off Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, but did no serious damage. At Hollister some windows and plaster were cracked, and small objects were shaken off shelves. Of the small shocks during the month, three may be mentioned. On March 7 an earthquake was felt with strength 3–4 on the Modified Mercalli scale in the south-west Alps near Messtetten. It had a depth of focus, according to Dr. W. Hiller, of Stuttgart, of less than 5 km. On March 11 a strong tremor shook the area around Dalton, New South Wales, Australia, and cracked buildings there, causing damage estimated at £2,000. The shock was felt in Sydney and Canberra. On March 22 an earthquake was felt in the Departement des Basses-Alpes, France, doing some damage at Lauzet. Instrumental readings for the month have been received from the central stations of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in co-operation with Science Service and the Jesuit Seismological Association ; the Central Seismo-logical Bureau at Strasbourg ; and individual observatories at De Bilt (Netherlands), Durham, Stuttgart and Toledo.

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    Earthquakes during March. Nature 163, 904 (1949).

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