1717 Guatemala earthquake

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1717 Guatemala earthquake
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Antigua Guatemala
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Local dateSeptember 29, 1717 (1717-09-29)
Magnitude~7.4 Mw
Epicenter 14°34′N90°44′W / 14.57°N 90.73°W / 14.57; -90.73 Coordinates: 14°34′N90°44′W / 14.57°N 90.73°W / 14.57; -90.73
Areas affectedGuatemala
Max. intensity IX (Violent)

The 1717 Guatemala earthquake struck Guatemala on September 29 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.4, [1] and a Mercalli intensity of approximately IX (Violent). [1] The earthquake essentially destroyed much of the architecture of Antigua Guatemala, which was the colonial capital of Central America at the time. Over 3,000 buildings were ruined including many temples and churches. Such was the effect of the disaster that the authorities considered moving the headquarters to a settlement which was less prone to natural disasters. [1]

Guatemala republic in Central America

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

The moment magnitude scale is a measure of an earthquake's magnitude based on its seismic moment, expressed in terms of the familiar magnitudes of the original "Richter" magnitude scale.

Antigua Guatemala City in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, commonly referred to as just Antigua or la Antigua, is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins of colonial churches. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Later earthquakes meant that after the 1773 earthquake the town had been moved three times. In 1776, after the Santa Marta earthquakes, the Spanish Crown finally ordered the capital to be moved to a safer location, in the Valle de la Ermita (Valley of the Shrine), where Guatemala City, the modern capital of Guatemala, now stands.

Guatemala City City in Guatemala, Guatemala

Guatemala City, locally known as Guatemala or Guate, officially Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, is the capital and largest city of Guatemala, and the most populous in Central America. The city is located in the south-central part of the country, nestled in a mountain valley called Valle de la Ermita. It is estimated that its population is about 1 million. Guatemala City is also the capital of the Municipality of Guatemala and of the Guatemala Department.

See also

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Central America central geographic region of the Americas

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1902 Guatemala earthquake earthquake struck Escuintla Department, Guatemala on April 19, 1902

The 1902 Guatemala earthquake occurred on April 18 at 8:23 pm with a moment magnitude of 7.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). The rupture initiated at a depth of 25 km (16 mi) and the duration was 1 to 2 minutes.

1986 San Salvador earthquake

The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred at 11:49:26 local time on October 10 with a moment magnitude of 5.7 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shock caused considerable damage to El Salvador's capital city of San Salvador and surrounding areas, including neighboring Honduras and Guatemala.

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1773 Guatemala earthquake

The 1773 Guatemala earthquake struck Guatemala on July 29 at 15:45 local time. It had an estimated epicentral magnitude of 7.5 Mi. It was part of a sequence that started in May that year. There were two strong foreshocks on June 11 and the mainshock was followed by numerous aftershocks which lasted until December 1773. The series of all these earthquakes is also referred to as the Santa Marta earthquake(s) as it had started on the feast day of Saint Martha.

Cathedral of Guatemala City

The Cathedral of Guatemala City, also Metropolitan Cathedral, officially Catedral Primada Metropolitana de Santiago, is the main church of Guatemala City and of the Archdiocese of Guatemala. It is located at the Parque Central in the center of the city. Its massive structure incorporates baroque and classical elements and has withstood numerous earthquakes. Damage by the devastating earthquakes of 1917 and 1976 has been repaired. The inside of the cathedral is relatively sparsely decorated but impresses by its size and its structural strength. The altars are ornate and decorative. In front of the cathedral stand a series of 12 pillars, solemnly remembering the names of thousands of people forcibly disappeared or murdered during the counterinsurgency violence of Guatemala's internal armed conflict, which began in 1960 and lasted until the final peace accord was signed in 1996.

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The 1982 El Salvador earthquake occurred southeast of San Salvador on 19 June at 00:21 local time. This undersea earthquake struck offshore in the Pacific Ocean and had a surface wave magnitude of 7.2 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII. Occurring adjacent to a subduction zone at the Middle America Trench, this normal-slip shock left at least 16 and as many as 43 people dead, and many injured, and also inflicted $5 million in damage.

Mariano Rivera Paz Guatemalan statesman; 1st President of Guatemala

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2012 Guatemala earthquake 7.4 Mw earthquake

The 2012 Guatemala earthquake occurred on November 7 at 10:35:45 local time. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.4 and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of VII. The epicenter was located in the Pacific Ocean, 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Champerico in the department of Retalhuleu. The region is one of many earthquakes, where the Cocos Plate is being subducted along the Middle America Trench beneath the North American and the Caribbean Plates, near their triple junction.

References

  1. 1 2 3 White, R. A.; Ligorria, J. P.; Cifuentes, I. L. (2004). "Seismic history of the Middle America subduction zone along El Salvador, Guatemala, and Chiapas, Mexico: 1526–2000". Natural Hazards in El Salvador. Geological Society of America. p. 394. ISBN   978-0-8137-2375-4.