San Pablo, Guatemala Earthquake, Mw6.9

At 07:29 UTC (01:29 local time) on Wednesday June 14, an earthquake of moment magnitude Mw6.9 struck southwestern Guatemala, about 10 mi (16 km) from the Mexican border, at a depth of 58 mi (94 km), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The strongest shaking, with a Modified Mercali Intensity (MMI) Scale of VI (Strong) was felt by about 1.7 mn people in Guatemala and Mexico. Shaking of MMI V (Moderate) was felt by a further 7.5 mn people, according to the USGS. There are reports of moderate damage to buildings in Guatemala and Chiapas state in southeast Mexico. Although damage information is still being collected, it appears the moderate depth of the earthquake has limited the effects at the surface . . Guatemala. In Guatemala, 125 houses have been damaged slightly, 27 houses moderately and 21 houses severely, as of 16 June, according to the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction (CONRED). Three churches have also sustained damage. CONRED reports that 95% of the damage assessment has been completed . The most impacted departments are Quetzaltenango, San Marcos, Suchitepéquez and Retalhuleu. Images on social media show rubble in streets and damage to building facades, particularly in San Marcos (pop. ~45,000), about 14 mi (22 km) from the epicenter. The Tecún Umán II bridge, a major border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico, sustained damage and has been closed. At least 10 roads are damaged, and further roads were blocked by landslides. Power cuts affected an unknown number of people. Drinking water supply has been cut off in two locations in Suchitepéquez department. According to CONRED, 3,181 people have been affected by the earthquake, including 36 evacuations, 5 deaths and 19 injuries. CONRED has declared a national orange alert, the second highest level of alert, allowing for national coordination of response resources. . Mexico. Damage is reported in Chiapas state. Initial reports suggest that damage to buildings is mostly superficial, with images of cracked walls, collapsed plasterwork and rubble shared on social media. Initial reports suggested damage was worst in Huixtla (pop. ~51,000), according to the Chiapas Civil Protection agency. Damage is reported to 20 houses, two of which were destroyed, 6 schools, 2 health clinics and 1 church, according to officials. Assessments in Mexico are ongoing. At least one road has been damaged. The earthquake was felt in the states of Veracruz and Tabasco, but there are no reports of damage. Eleven people are reported injured and 113 people have been evacuated. . Geological conditions. The earthquake is part of a swarm which began on June 10 and has been affecting the Guatemala-Mexico border region, mostly offshore. This is the largest event in the swarm, which has now seen 17 earthquakes with Mw4.0 or greater. Authorities are warning of continued aftershocks. The event occurred at an intermediate depth, meaning that shaking at the surface was not as strong as is possible for this moment magnitude, according to the USGS. The earthquake occurred at the convergence of the Cocos and North America plates, and this quake appears to have occurred on the subducting Cocos plate. This event is comparable in magnitude, mechanism and depth to events in March 1994 and December 2015. The latter caused two fatalities and a number of landslides. EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS: Earthquake location: 5km NNE of San Pablo, Guatemala. Earthquake magnitude: 6.9. Time & Date: 07:29 UTC, June 14 2017. Epicenter lat/lon: 14.9823°N, -91.9882°W. Focal Depth: 58.41 mi (94 km). Max. MMI: VI (Strong). Estimated population exposed by MMI V+ follows. MMI V (Moderate): 7,485,281 people; Cities exposed: Guatemala City, Huixtla. MMI VI (Strong): 1,679,005 people; Cities exposed: -. (Note: cities defined as settlements with over 25,000 inhabitants.)

Latest Issue

June 2017


In this month's Reactions

  • Brazil's D&O market
  • Broker facilities
  • BMA's Jeremy Cox
  • LatAm Awards

Click here to view this issue


Follow Us on Twitter @reactionsnet

Catastrophe Centre