On Monday 12 February 2012 slightly before 2.50 am local time (slightly before 0.50 am GMT) an Earthquake took place of the east coast of Mozambique, roughly 65 km northeast of the port of Nacala, according to the United States Geological Survey, who recorded the quake as measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale and as occurring at a depth of 10.8 km. It is to early to say if there have been any casualties or serious damage, though it is unlikely for a quake of this size. It is likely that the quake will have been felt quite widely along the coast.
Map showing the location of the quake, from the United States Geological Survey.
Mozambique is located at the southern end of the East African Rift System, caused by Africa slowly splitting apart along the Great Rift Valley from Mozambique to the Eritrea on the Red Sea Coast in the north; eventually the continent will split into two new plates, named the Nubian and Somali Plates by Geologists. This breakup fuels earthquakes across East Africa, as well as the volcanoes of East and Central Africa.
In February 2006 a quake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale killed 4 people in Mozambique, injured 27 more and damaged a large number of buildings. The quake was felt in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland.
The United States Geological Survey are interested in hearing from anyone who felt this quake, if you did you can report it here.