1942 Guatemala earthquake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1942 Guatemala earthquake
1942 Guatemala earthquake is located in Central America
1942 Guatemala earthquake
UTC time 1942-08-06 23:37:02
ISC event 900408
Local date August 6, 1942 UTC
Local time 17:37
Magnitude Mw 7.7 [1]
Ms 7.9 [2][3]
Depth 35 km (22 mi)
Epicenter 13°47′N 90°55′W / 13.78°N 90.91°W / 13.78; -90.91Coordinates: 13°47′N 90°55′W / 13.78°N 90.91°W / 13.78; -90.91
Areas affected Guatemala
Casualties 38 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[edit]


  1. ^ Engdahl, E. R.; Vallaseñor, A. (2002), "Global seismicity: 1900–1999", International Handbook of Earthquake & Engineering Seismology (PDF), Part A, Volume 81A (First ed.), Academic Press, p. 678, ISBN 978-0124406520 
  2. ^ Dmowska & Lovison 1988, p. 657
  3. ^ a b Astiz, Luciana; Kanamori, Hiroo (1984), "An earthquake doublet in Ometepec, Guerrero, Mexico" (PDF), Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Elsevier, 34 (1-2): 41, Bibcode:1984PEPI...34...24A, doi:10.1016/0031-9201(84)90082-7, archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-23, retrieved 2012-08-04 
  4. ^ Monzón-Despang, Héctor (February 1996), La construcción y el uso del terreno en Guatemala : Su vulnerabilidad sísmica (PDF), Asociacion Guatemalteca de Ingenieros Estrucurales, pp. 107–121, retrieved August 3, 2012 [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ ABC (August 11, 1942). "Mundo Hispanoamericano – Fuerte seísmo en Guatemala. Ocho muertos y cuarenta heridos". ABC. p. 17. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sismología". Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Historic Earthquakes — Guatemala, 1942 August 06 23:36 UTC". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Dmowska & Lovison 1988
  9. ^ Lay, Thorne; Astiz, Luciana; Kanamori, Hiroo; Christensen, Douglas (1989). "Temporal variation of large intraplate earthquakes in coupled subduction zones" (PDF). Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. Elsevier. 54 (3-4): 273. Bibcode:1989PEPI...54..258L. doi:10.1016/0031-9201(89)90247-1. 
  10. ^ White, Randall A.; Ligorría, Juan Pablo; Cifuentes, Ines Lucia (2004). "Seismic history of the Middle America subduction zone along El Salvador, Guatemala, and Chiapas, Mexico: 1526–2000". GSA Special Papers. Geological Society of America. 375: 379–396. doi:10.1130/0-8137-2375-2.379. ISBN 0-8137-2375-2. 


External links[edit]