Saturday, March 20, 2010

List of earthquakes in Guatemala

List of earthquakes in Guatemala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Earthquakes in Guatemala)
Plate tectonics in the Americas
Motagua Fault (green line) and the Middle America Trench (pink line)
Earthquakes are relatively frequent occurrences in Guatemala.[1] The country lies in a major fault zone, known as the Motagua and Chixoy-Polochic fault complex, which cuts across Guatemala and forms the tectonic boundary between the Caribbean plate and the North American plate. In addition, along Guatemala's western coast line, the Cocos plate pushes against the Caribbean plate forming a subduction zone known as the Middle America Trench, located approximately 50 km off Guatemala's Pacific coast. This subduction zone led to formation of the Central America Volcanic Arc, and is an important source of offshore earthquakes.[2] Both these major tectonic processes have generated deformations within the Caribbean plate and produced secondary fault zones, like the MixcoJalpatagua, and Santa Catarina Pinula faults.[3]
The most destructive earthquake in recent Guatemalan history was the 1976 quake with a magnitude of 7.5 Mw and a hypocenter depth of just 5 km. This shallow-focus earthquake, originating from the Motagua Fault, caused 23,000 fatalities, leaving 76,000 injured and causing widespread material damage. Surprisingly, the 7.9 Mw earthquake of 1942 -though higher in magnitude- was much less destructive, in part because of its substantially deeper hypocenter depth of 60 km.[4]
A number of earthquakes with low magnitudes caused major damage in very localized areas, which may in part be explained by their relatively shallow depth. This was the case with the 1985 Uspantán earthquake of 5.0 Mw with a depth of 5 km, which destroyed most buildings in the town of Uspantán, but caused little or no damage in the rest of the country.[5]



[edit]Recent earthquakes

Notable earthquakes in recent Guatemalan history include the following[4]:
Name  ↓Date  ↓Epicentre  ↓M  ↓MM  ↓Depth  ↓Notes  ↓Deaths  ↓
1717 Guatemala earthquake1717-09-29Antigua Guatemala[6]7.4 Mi~IXModified Mercalli intensity estimated at IX
1765 Guatemala earthquake1765-10-24Ostuncalco(Quetzaltenango)[6]7.6-8.2 Mi~VIIModified Mercalli intensity estimated at VII. Duration of shaking reported at 7–8 minutes, which may indicate possible rupture up to Chiapas.[6]
1773 Guatemala earthquake1773-07-29Antigua Guatemala7.5 Mi~VIIIOn July 29 of 1773, and the following months, a series of strong earthquakes shook Antigua Guatemala and left most of the city in rubble.[7][8]
1816 Guatemala earthquake1816-07-22Alta Verapaz[9]
(Chixoy-Polochic Fault)
7.5 Mi~VIIModified Mercalli intensity estimated at VII, covering 13,000 km2
1902 Guatemala earthquake1902-04-18
20:23:50 hrs
14.90°N 91.50°W
7.5 Ms25 [60]See also: 1902 Guatemala earthquake. This earthquake may be related to the colossal eruption of the Santa María volcano on 24-10-1902, which killed at least 5000 people.800-2000
1913 Guatemala earthquake1913-03-08
08:55 hrs
near Cuilapa
Jalpatagua Fault[10]
5.06.5 kmDestroyed the town of Cuilapa60
1917 Guatemala earthquake1917-12-26
05:21:00 hrs
Guatemala City5.6VII-IXSeveral foreshocks since November 27, 1917 have preceded this quake.250
1918 Guatemala earthquake1918-01-04
04:30.10 and 04:32.25 LT
near Guatemala City6.0VIMagnitude estimate by INSUVIMEH[4]
1942 Guatemala earthquake1942-08-06
23:36.98 UTC
13.9°N 90.8°W [4]
Western Guatemala[11]
7.960 km8.3 Ms, according to Insivumeh.[4] 38 deaths, many injured, and widespread material damage. Additional damage due to landslides.38
1959 Guatemala earthquake1959-02-20
18:16.33 UTC
15.94°N 90.59°W
48 km
1976 Guatemala earthquake1976-02-04
09:01 UTC
15.32°N 89.10°W
Motagua Fault
7.5X5 kmActivated destructive aftershocks in the Mixco Fault near Guatemala City. See also:1976 Guatemala earthquake23,000
1985 Guatemala earthquake1985-10-11
03:39.17 hrs
15.3°N 90.9°W
5.0VII5 kmMajor damage in the town of Uspantán (80% of buildings affected)
1988 Guatemala earthquake1988-11-03
14:14.10 hrs
13.881°N 90.450°W
San Vicente Pacaya
6.0VI69 km5 casualties[12]5
1991 Guatemala earthquake1991-09-11
03:48:13 hrs
5.3VII32 kmDestroyed 80% of the town of San Miguel Pochuta25
1993 Chiapas earthquake1993-09-10
19:12:54 hrs
14.717°N 92.645°W
offshore ChiapasSan Marcos department
7.234 kmCaused 1 casualty and considerable material damage in southwestern Guatemala where some roads were blocked due to rockslides. Some damage in parts of Chiapas.[13]1
1995 Guatemala earthquake1995-12-19
14:56:06 hrs
15.301°N 90.154°W
5.3IV10 km1
1998 Guatemala earthquake1998-01-10
02:20:10 hrs
14.374°N 91.473°W
Santo Domingo Suchitepéquez
6.6VII, VI33 km16 people injured in Quezaltenango, 3 injured in San Marcos, 5 injured in Guatemala city. Buildings damaged in the Quezaltenango and San Marcos Departments. A number of houses destroyed in Solola Department.[14]
1998 Guatemala earthquake (March)1998-03-02
20:24:46 LT
offshore Pacific Ocean
5.6V, III33 km
2007 Guatemala earthquake2007-06-13
02:29:41 hrs
13.623°N 90.797°W
offshore Pacific Ocean
115 km southwest of Guatemala City
6.723 kmSee also: 2007 Guatemala earthquake
2008 Guatemala earthquake2008-05-27
11:28:01 UTC
13.715°N 90.921°W
offshore Pacific Ocean[15]
120 km southwest of Guatemala City
5.778 km
2009 Guatemala earthquake2009-05-03
16:21:47 UTC
14.58°N 91.08°W
South of Patzún
55 km (35 miles) ESE of Quezaltenango [16]
6.2124 km
2010 Guatemala earthquake2010-02-23
15:16:00 UTC
15.984°N 91.386°W
20 km north of San Mateo Ixtatán[17]
5.610 kmThe earthquake was preceded by a magnitude 5.3 quake on February 23, 2010 at 10:52:15 UTC with its epicentre located at 16.048°N 91.230°W (10 km depth)[18]