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Recent Quake Activity Not Unusual, Expert Says

Despite a series of earthquakes along the Ring of Fire and other non-plate bordering locations over the past weekend, it is not unusual.

Although it may seem like there is an increase in earthquake activity, Don Blakeman, a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey said that there really is no particular increase.

"Activity around the world is not changing, it is pretty constant," he said.

The earthquakes along the Ring of Fire, such as the quakes in the Solomon Islands, Japan, Chile and Alaska are normal. Even activity not along major tectonic plates is relatively normal, because the Earth is such an active place, according to Blakeman.

However, Blakeman said that there are more earthquakes triggered by man. A new controversy has surfaced regarding earthquakes due to hydraulic fracking.

"Some quakes, we think, are likely to be produced by fracking," Blakeman said.

Hydraulic fracking has increased due to the extraction of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.

The first of a series of earthquakes was reported on Jan. 30, 2013. A 6.8 magnitude quake struck 27 miles north of Vallenar, Chile, at 3:15 p.m. The quake happened 26.5 miles below the surface and there was minimal damage reported, according to ABC news.

On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, an earthquake struck eastern Texas, according to KLTV. The quake had a 2.7 magnitude and is the third to strike eastern Texas in one week. The three quakes were reported in the Timpson area. The first of the three quakes rang out on Jan. 25, 2013. The Jan. 25 quake had a 4.1 magnitude. The second earthquake was on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2013, around 6:30 p.m. This quake had a magnitude of 2.8. According to KLTV, there have been nine earthquakes in Shelby County, Texas, since May of last year.

Another quake on Jan. 31, 2013, struck 205 miles south of Juneau, Alaska. The 6.0 magnitude quake occurred 6.0 miles below the surface, and there was no tsunami warning issued.

On Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, two earthquakes struck off the coast of the Solomon Islands. The first reported earthquake was located 42 miles southwest of Lata, Solomon Islands. It had a magnitude of 6.4 and erupted 13.7 miles below the surface. The second earthquake that struck the Solomon Island region was 29 miles from Lata and had a magnitude of 6.3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website.

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, had a few earthquakes as well. A 2.3 earthquake shook, Cohutta, Georgia, according to WRCB-TV. A 4.8 magnitude quake shook Crete, Greece. This quake was located 5.8 miles below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website. Another quake, of 4.5 magnitude, struck 2 miles southeast of Sittersdorf, Austria. This quake was 6.2 miles below the surface. A 5.1 magnitude quake struck 29 miles southeast of Hualien, Taiwan. This quake was 14.0 miles under the surface, according to U.S. Geological Survey website. Finally, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook the Hokkaido, Japan, area. There was no tsunami warning after the quake and there were no reports of damage, according to reuters.com.