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Quake swarm keeping nerves on edge

Arizona, USA
Psychologists and earthquake experts say that following Yuma's recent spate of earthquakes and aftershocks, it's no surprise that some people feel a bit jumpy or hypersensitive to the possibility of yet another rumble. Many native and longtime Yumans have commented that they don't remember experiencing as many relatively strong quakes in such a short period of time as the current series, or "swarm," of quakes, which began Feb. 9. "One of the purposes of anxiety from a biological perspective is to put us in a heightened state of alertness so we can respond to whatever is going to occur. So when you have major events like these quakes there are many people who are going to genuinely feel they are sensing something." Over the past weeks of occasional earthquakes, there have been reports about people sensing the onset of yet another quake, which in time doesn't fully unfold. The experience then leaves people to wonder if they are simply sensitive to smaller quakes or if it's all in their minds. Experts say matters are only made worse given the fact that scientists for years have been warning this part of the world about "the big one" coming one day.

A magnitude 4.8 quake was felt in the Yuma area
at 12:31 p.m. Friday, followed minutes later by a magnitude 4.4 aftershock. This swarm of quakes began Feb. 9 when an earthquake measuring 5.5 was felt in Yuma. That quake has been followed by numerous aftershocks, some striking twice in one day. Aftershock quakes have so far measured from magnitude 2.1 to 4.7. Experts with USGS said the Friday quake was likely just another aftershock related to the recent BAJA CALIFORNIA SWARM over the past several weeks. Quakes measuring 2.9 and 4.1 followed within minutes of Friday's initial temblor. A 4.7 quake in the same region was felt on Wednesday. Recent quakes have originated south of Mexicali, Baja California.

- An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale struck southern Greece on Friday, the fifth significant tremor to hit the country in just over a week. The quake hit at 6.57am (local time) off the coast of Zante in the Ionian sea. It was felt across the island and in the western Peloponnese, but no victims or damage was reported. The epicentre was 235km west of the Greek capital Athens. Greece accounts for half of Europe's earthquakes and there has been an increase in seismic activity in recent days. Since February 14, the Peloponnese has been hit by three quakes measuring at least six on the Richter scale, while a 4.4-magnitude tremor was registered on Sunday near Mount Parnitha, north west of Athens. None of them caused major damage.

NEW ZEALAND - SWARM - Another earthquake was recorded near Matata in the Bay of Plenty at 2.51am on Saturday. The 3.3 magnitude quake was centred 10km north of Matata. It was 2km deep. It was the seventh small earthquake to be recorded this month to date near Matata. There is a significant swarm of quakes in the region: more than 2000 tremors have been recorded in the Matata area since the beginning of 2005. Recent quakes have all been shallow and are part of what's called an extensional process in which the East Cape and Northland are pulling apart. As a result, a crack is growing at the rate of about 1cm per year in the Bay of Plenty. But it doesn't pose any risk, as it's being filled in with pliable rock and sediment as it grows.
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