Mw6.8 earthquake hits Jan Mayen in the Arctic with some damage

Earthquake overview : A major earthquake has hit off Jan Mayen Island in Norway in the Arctic Ocean. 44 people live there, no injuries have been reported, but some damage and a rockslide has occurred.
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Most recent information on top – Start of the article at the bottom

UPDATE AND FINAL SUMMARY:-

Station manager Paul Thor Gjelseth the Jan Mayen barely managed to steer clear of large rocks rolled down a hill when the earthquake struck Jan Mayen.

Many items fell in houses. In the bar they require new glasses after they smashed, and many items fell from shelves in laundries etc.

The station chief was out on tour with a film crew when the earthquake struck.

He told a news network - "We were on the ground the car when we noticed the earthquake. Coincidentally, we look up the mountainside above us that it comes small stones at us. Soon after that, the larger stones. Luckily we managed to get off the road before a large rockslide whizzes past us with only 30-40 meters of space" said Gjelseth.

In addition to the 18 residents, there were yesterday 26 visitors on the island. These are currently being transported back to the mainland and then there will only be the 18 residents again.

So in summary from this earthquake:- "The quake was strongly felt at Jan Mayen, and some property damage and local landslides are reported."

 

UPDATE:- This is reported to be one of the largest Norwegian earthquakes on record.

In 2008, a M6.2 was reported in Svalbard.

According to NORSAR "The largest earthquakes in historical times in Norway and surrounding offshore areas occurred in the Rana region in 1819, M 5.8, in the Vøring Basin in 1866, M 5.7, in the outer Oslofjord in 1904, M 5.4 and in the Viking Graben in 1927, M 5.3. The last earthquakes above M 5 include an M 5.3 event in the Vøring Basin in 1988, in an area with almost no earlier seismicity, and an M 5.2 event in the northeastern North Sea in 1989."

The Oslofjord earthquake of 1904 is the best known earthquake causing damage in Norway.

So it looks like another earthquake record has been broken - as will continue to occur as better recording of earthquakes through time continues worldwide leading to better hazard maps in the future.

Further damage is yet to be confirmed as well as a possible tsunami caused by a underwater landslide.

Beerenberg Volcano - over 2200m above sea level (Wiki Commons) - erupted in 1970 and 1985.

SUMMARY:-

A major earthquake has hit off Jan Mayen Island in Norway in the Arctic Ocean.

The Amazing coastline of Jan Mayen with the Beerenberg Volcano

44 people currently live on the small island of which the main export is gravel and also doubles as a telecommunications base for Norway.

There has been reports of some damage and a rockslide, but no injuries among the 44 people living there.

A M5.2 aftershock also hit around 8 mins after the mainshock.

Norwegian Meteorological Station at Jan Mayen (image courtesy Polar adventurer)

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Mw6.6 6.8
UTC Time : 13:43:24 UTC on August 30th, 2012
Local time at epicenter : 12:43:24 UTC on August 30th, 2012
Depth (Hypocenter) : 8km
Geo-location(s) : 93km NW away from Olonkinbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen

Links to important maps
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Shaking map
Scientific parameters

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Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:51 5.3 10 MAP
GEOFON Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:51 5.4 10 MAP
USGS Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:51 5.2 12 MAP
USGS Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:43 6.8 9 MAP
GEOFON Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:43 6.6 10 MAP
EMSC Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:43 6.7 2 MAP
EMSC Jan Mayen Island Region Aug 30 13:40 6.3 10 MAP

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Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
Shaking Strength *
MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
People :
Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
People :
Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
People :
Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
Fittings :
Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
Structures :
Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
People :
Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
Fittings :
Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
Structures :
Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
Fittings :
Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
Structures :
Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
Environment :
Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
People
General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
Fittings :
Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
Structures :
Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
Environment :
Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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