2008 El Calvario earthquake

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2008 El Calvario earthquake
2008-Colombia earthquake intensity-map.jpg
Date 24 May 2008 (2008-05-24)
Magnitude 5.9/6.0 Mw[1]
Depth 35 kilometres (22 mi)
Epicenter 4°26′49″N 73°40′12″W / 4.447°N 73.670°W / 4.447; -73.670 (El Calvario, Meta)
Areas affected  Colombia
Max. intensity VII - Very strong[2]
Casualties 11 dead[3]
4,181 injured

The 2008 El Calvario earthquake occurred in central Colombia on 24 May 2008. It was registered at 5.9 Mw on the moment magnitude scale. The earthquake occurred at 02:20:46 p.m. (19:20:46 UTC) at the epicenter (El Calvario, Meta). The depth was 35 km; it was superficial according to an Ingeominas report. The epicenter was located 35 km from Villavicencio and 50 km from Bogotá. The current casualty count is 11 confirmed fatalities, 4181 injured and 7051 affected, mostly in the towns of Puente Quetame, Fosca, Fomeque and Guayabetal in Cundinamarca, and in El Calvario, Meta.[3]

Moments before, at 12:08 local time (17:08 GMT), another quake was registered. It registered 4.0 Mw and its epicenter was near San Juanito, in the Meta Central Department, at a depth of 30 km.

The town of Puente Quetame, Cundinamarca was the most affected. Several houses collapsed in this small town of 6500 inhabitants. The reconstruction of the affected structures cost 10 million USD (exchange rate COP 2000). In Bogotá, a partial collapse of the building of "Lotería de Bogotá" was reported, with no major consequences. The emergency network in the Capital District was put on maximum alert. A collapse of fixed phone lines and cell phones occurred, due to the great number of people calling to find out about their relatives. The quake was also felt in cities as far away as Medellín and Bucaramanga.

In Guayabetal, Meta, civil defense workers could only reach the town from Villavicencio using motorcycles, because fallen buildings blocked cars from passing. The workers found two people dead and another 26 people trapped in a bus. Now there is a bypass to that point coming from Villavicencio, because 2 km of Highway 48 was closed due to fallen debris.

Similar earthquakes[edit]

Other notable 5.9 MW earthquakes
Date Areas affected Notes Fatalities
1 October 1987 Southern California,  United States see 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake 3
31 October 2002  Italy (Molise) see 2002 Molise earthquake 28
3 February 2008  Rwanda
Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo
see 2008 Lake Kivu earthquake 44


External links[edit]