The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake at a depth of 46.8 km about 23 km to the southwest of the city of Puerto San Jose on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala, slightly after 6.30 am local time (slightly before 12.30 pm GMT) on Thursday 22 June 2017. This event was felt across much of central and southern Guatemala and El Salvador, as well as parts of neighbouring Mexico and Honduras, though there are no reports of any casualties or major damage, though minor damage to buildings has been recorded across a wide area, as well as several small landslides.
Damage to a building i Antigua, Guatemala,following an Earthquake on 22 June 2017. Luis Escheverria/Reuters.
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 neighbouring 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.
The approximate location of the 22 June 2017 Guatemalan Earthquake. USGS.
Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation 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.
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