1946 Dominican Republic earthquake
The Septentrional-Oriente fault zone in the Caribbean and across Hispaniola
|UTC time||1946-08-04 17:51:10|
|Local date||August 4, 1946|
|Areas affected||Dominican Republic|
|Max. intensity||IX (Violent) |
|Peak acceleration||.4g (est) |
The 1946 Dominican Republic earthquake occurred on August 4 at 17:51 UTC near Samaná, Dominican Republic. The mainshock measured 8.1 on the surface wave magnitude scale and an aftershock occurred four days later on August 8 at 13.28 UTC with a magnitude of 7.6. A tsunami was generated by the initial earthquake and caused widespread devastation across Hispaniola. The tsunami was observed in much of the Caribbean and the southern Atlantic Ocean.
The earthquake killed around 100, but left some 20,000 people homeless. The death toll was unusually low as it coincided with a holiday in the afternoon, when most people were outdoors. It caused severe damage in the northern Dominican Republic from Samana to Santiago and Puerto Plata. Slumping and sand blows were observed in the Yaque del Norte and Yuna River Valleys. The earthquake was felt strongly in parts of Haiti and Puerto Rico, and to a lesser extent in the Virgin Islands and eastern Cuba.
The earthquake also caused a tsunami which struck at Matanza, near Nagua (Julia Molina), where a 2.5–5-metre (8–16 ft) high wave drowned a number of people and affected an area of land several kilometres inland. The tsunami associated with the quake killed 1,600–1,800 people, for a total of about 2,550 fatalities.
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