Saturday, 22 August 2015

Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake beneath Escuintla Department, Guatemala.

The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake at a depth of 78 km in the west of Esculinta Department in southern Guatemala, slightly before 4.50 am local time (slightly 10.50 am GMT) on Friday 21 August 2015. This event was felt across in the municipality of Jocotenango, though there are no reports of any damage or casualties; which is roughly what would be expected from an Earthquake of this size at this depth; the quake is big enough to be felt over a wide area, but most of its energy has dissipated before the shock-waves reach the surface.

The approximate location of the 21 August 2015 Esculinta Earthquake. Google Maps.

Guatemala is located on the southern part of the Caribbean Plate, close to its boundary with the Cocos Plate, which underlies part of the east Pacific. The Cocos Plate is being pushed northwards by expansion of the crust along the East Pacific Rise, and is subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate along the Middle American Trench, which runs parallel to the south coast of Guatemala and neighboring countries, passing under Central America as it sinks into the Earth's interior. This is not a smooth process, the plates tend to stick together, breaking apart again once the pressure from the northward movement of the Cocos Plate builds up to much, triggering Earthquakes. 

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organization Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

See also...

The Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia in Guatemala has ordered an evacuation of communities close to Mount Fuego, an active volcano in the south of the country...


At least three people have died and several dozen more have been injured, following an Earthquake in the southeast of the Mexican state of Chiapas slightly after 6.20 am local time (slightly after 11.20 am GMT)...


The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake at a depth of 74.2 km in the east of Esculinta Department in southern Guatemala...


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