1902 Guatemala earthquake

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1902 Guatemala earthquake
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Guatemala City
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UTC  time1902-04-19 02:23:00
ISC  event 16957763
USGS-ANSS ComCat
Local dateApril 18, 1902 (1902-04-19)
Local time8:23 p.m. [1]
Duration1–2 min [2]
Magnitude7.5 Mw [3]
Depth25 km (16 mi) [3]
Epicenter 14°N91°W / 14°N 91°W / 14; -91 [3]
Areas affected Guatemala
Max. intensity VIII (Severe) [3]
Casualties800–2,000 [1] [3]

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.

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.

Contents

The foreshock and aftershock sequence of this incident were major. Before the main shock, there were earthquakes being felt for three months and the tremors afterwards persisted for more than two weeks. A majority of churches in western Guatemala and eastern Chiapas were either severely devastated or abolished. The number of people killed was between 800 and 2,000. [1] [2]

A foreshock is an earthquake that occurs before a larger seismic event and is related to it in both time and space. The designation of an earthquake as foreshock, mainshock or aftershock is only possible after the full sequence of events has happened.

An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that follows a larger earthquake, in the same area of the main shock, caused as the displaced crust adjusts to the effects of the main shock. Large earthquakes can have hundreds to thousands of instrumentally detectable aftershocks, which steadily decrease in magnitude and frequency according to known laws. In some earthquakes the main rupture happens in two or more steps, resulting in multiple main shocks. These are known as doublet earthquakes, and in general can be distinguished from aftershocks in having similar magnitudes and nearly identical seismic waveforms.

Chiapas State of Mexico

Chiapas, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas, is one of the 31 states that along with the federal district of Mexico City make up the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 124 municipalities as of September 2017 and its capital city is Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Other important population centers in Chiapas include Ocosingo, Tapachula, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Comitán and Arriaga. It is the southernmost state in Mexico. It is located in Southeastern Mexico, and it borders the states of Oaxaca to the west, Veracruz to the northwest and Tabasco to the north, and by the Petén, Quiché, Huehuetenango and San Marcos departments of Guatemala to the east and southeast. Chiapas has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the south.

A strange occurrence of heavy rains, lightning, and thunder took place shortly before the earthquake. A few weeks before to the earthquake there was rain every afternoon for several days straight. Guatemala City was instantly flooded when massive gaps opened in the streets, water pipes ruptured, and huts along with cathedrals disintegrated and collapsed, which also buried hundreds. In just one hour, approximately 80,000 people were made homeless. [4]

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.

As soon as the earthquake took place the sky cleared up and there was no rain for approximately three weeks. It has been said that the earthquake had something to do with an atmospheric disturbance connected with an electrical nature. The reason for this is because the early storms were electrical storms. [5]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey
  2. 1 2 White, Ligorria & Cifuentes 2004 , p. 394
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 White, Ligorria & Cifuentes 2004, p. 387
  4. Davis, Lee (January 1, 2009). Natural Disasters (revised ed.). Facts on File Science Library: Infobase Publishing. p. 50. ISBN   978-1-4381-1878-9.
  5. Eisen, Gustav (1903). "The Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption in Guatemala in 1902". Bulletin of the American Geographical Society. 35 (4): 329. JSTOR   197952.

Sources

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