1942 Guatemala earthquake

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1942 Guatemala earthquake
Relief map of Central America.jpg
UTC  time1942-08-06 23:37:02
ISC  event 900408
Local dateAugust 6, 1942
Local time17:37
Magnitude Mw 7.7 [1]
Ms 7.9 [2] [3]
Depth35 km (22 mi)
Epicenter 13°47′N90°55′W / 13.78°N 90.91°W / 13.78; -90.91 Coordinates: 13°47′N90°55′W / 13.78°N 90.91°W / 13.78; -90.91
Areas affected Guatemala
Casualties38 killed

The 1942 Guatemala earthquake occurred at 17:37 local time on August 6 and had ratings of 7.7 on the moment magnitude scale and 7.9 on the surface wave magnitude scale. The epicenter was located off the southern coast of Guatemala, [4] and it was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded there.


The earthquake caused widespread damage in the west-central highlands of Guatemala. Thirty-eight people died in the earthquake. Landslides caused by the combination of the earthquake and the heavy seasonal rains destroyed roads, the Inter-American Highway, and telegraph lines. In Tecpán Guatemala, more than 60% of the houses were demolished. Damage was reported in some buildings in Antigua Guatemala, including the Palacio de Los Capitanes Generales and some catholic churches. [5] [6] The earthquake could also be felt strongly in Mexico and El Salvador. [7]

This earthquake was a lower crustal intraplate earthquake with a compressional focal mechanism. [3] [8] [ page needed ] Tensional activity has been dominant along the down-dip edge along the 1942 rupture zone. [9] It was estimated that earthquakes near the Middle America Trench with magnitudes of about 7.5~8.0 occurred at intervals of 94 ± 54 yrs in southwestern Guatemala. Such historical earthquakes included the earthquakes in 1765, 1902, and 1942. [10]

See also

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1978 Miyagi earthquake earthquake

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1937 Orizaba earthquake earthquake in Mexico

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1971 Solomon Islands earthquakes

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1981 Playa Azul earthquake October 1981 earthquake in Mexico

The 1981 Playa Azul earthquake occurred on October 24, 1981, at 21:22 local time. It was located near Playa Azul, Michoacán, Mexico. The magnitude of the earthquake was Mw 7.2, or Ms 7.3. Three deaths were reported, two from Michoacán and one from Mexico City. Some buildings were damaged in both Michoacán and Mexico City. A small tsunami was registered in Acapulco with a maximum height of 9 cm.

1982 Ometepec earthquake

The 1982 Ometepec earthquake that struck Mexico's southwestern coast near Ometepec (Guerrero) on 7 June was a doublet earthquake that ruptured in two steps. The first happened at 06:52 UTC, the second five hours later at 10:59 UTC. Estimated magnitudes are 6.9 and 7.0 on the Ms scale, and 5.8 and 6.0 on the mb scale. The maximum MM intensities were VII and VIII, respectively.


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