In which place in BiH Earthquakes are most frequent and which could be the strongest one?

October 28, 2017 8:30 AM

It has been exactly 48 years since the most devastating earthquake that hit our country. The earthquake in Banja Luka started with an exceptionally strong “previous stroke” on the night of October 26, at 2.55 AM. The shaking was continued until 8.53 AM when the time stopped for Banja Luka.

Residents of Banja Luka will always remember the disastrous earthquake that devastated their city back in 1969. It took 15 lives, and thousands of people were injured. The material damage was huge. The earthquake was VIII degrees on the Mercalli scale and six degrees in Richter scale.

A total of 86,000 apartments or 3.7 x 106 square meters of living space were completely devastated. Large damage was caused to school objects (266), cultural objects (146), healthcare institutions (133), and social and public administration facilities (152).

Vedran Zubic, the Professor of geography at the Gymnasium Dobrinja in Sarajevo, explained that the earthquake is one of the greatest natural phenomena.

The most active zone is the “Pacific Belt Zone”, where more than 80 % of all the shaking takes place. Tectonic plates touch in three ways: subduction – they submerge one under the other, spreading – they move apart from each other and the contraction – the plates make friction while moving in the same direction but in different directions.

“Southern Europe is a tectonically very active area. Africa is moving to the northeast and “pushes” a Mediterranean plate under the Euro-Asian plate. Due to this, BiH is located in a zone abundant in shakings. We do not feel at all most of the earthquakes or those up to the second degree. The estimations say that, theoretically, the earthquake with the magnitude of 7 degrees can take place on the territory of BiH. This is only a tectonic hypothesis,” stated Professor Zubic.

According to the Professor, our most active areas are located in Central BiH. Line Grmec – Zelengora is a zone that separates the central from the outer Dinarides. There is the so-called zone of discontinuity and tectonic stretching. Prozor, which was an epicenter for three earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.3 to 4.7 Richter scale just three days ago, is located precisely on this line. This intensity can cause certain material damage. The hypocenter has changed its depth, which means that lithosphere was “readjusting”. Isolated earthquakes occur on rare occasions. Mostly, a stronger one “follows” a number of earthquakes of weaker intensity.

“Earthquake represents a natural phenomenon. But it can be a human disaster,” concluded Professor Zubic.






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