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Puerto Rico quake jolts Louisiana sinkhole

A very strong and shallow earthquake that struck early Monday morning off Puerto Rico's north coast jolted the Louisiana sinkhole area.

A Louisiana chemical sinkhole swallowing part of Assumption Parish, showed seismic activity around the time a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck at sea off Puerto Rico's north coast at a shallow depth of less than 30 km early Monday, according to the US Geological Survey.

Around 11:00 P.M. Sunday, the sinkhole seismic activity began to increase and continued throughout the time the quake struck puerto Rico, according to graphs of two helicorders t the sinkhole used to measure seismic activity there.

"LA12 [helicorder] gets jumpy after 11 p.m. and doesn’t stop for about an hour and a half," the La Sinkhole Bugle reported late Sunday night.

Later, the Bugle reported, "At 12:22 a.m. LA12 had a guitar strum and a little befor(e) then, LA11 went all nuts."

The shallow quake hit some 56 km (35 miles) off Puerto Rico's northern coast, approximately 1,848 miles from the sinkhole. reports that the quake north of Puerto Rico briefly cut power and thus halted the nation's Seismic Network operations.

occurred as a result of oblique-thrust faulting, according to the

Preliminary faulting mechanisms for the event indicate it ruptured either a structure dipping shallowly to the south and striking approximately east-west, or a near-vertical structure striking northwest-southeast.

At the location of this earthquake, the North America plate moves west-southwest with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr, and subducts beneath the Caribbean plate at the Puerto Rico Trench. The location, depth and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with the event occurring on this subduction zone interface.

Louisiana's 26-acre sinkhole has an established pattern of growing after increased seismic activity.

Just recently, during the first week of January, small quakes caused the sinkhole to grow after gulping down part of the levee built in an attempt to hold back the hungry beast. (See: Quakes Make La. Sinkhole Rapidly Gulp Levee, New Action Taken)

Last week, on Jan. 9, the monster grew again after increased seismic activity. (See: Louisiana's monster sinkhole just got bigger)

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