1986 San Salvador earthquake

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1986 San Salvador earthquake
1986 San Salvador earthquake is located in Central America
San Salvador
San Salvador
1986 San Salvador earthquake
UTC time1986-10-10 17:49:26
ISC event483349
Local dateOctober 10, 1986 (1986-10-10)
Local time11:49:26
Magnitude5.7 Mw [1]
Depth10 km (6.2 mi) [1]
Epicenter13°45′N 89°14′W / 13.75°N 89.24°W / 13.75; -89.24Coordinates: 13°45′N 89°14′W / 13.75°N 89.24°W / 13.75; -89.24 [1]
TypeStrike-slip [2]
Areas affectedEl Salvador
Max. intensityIX (Violent) [3]
Casualties1,000–1,500 fatalities [2]
10,000–20,000 injuries [2]
Damage caused by the earthquake

The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred at 11:49:26 local time on October 10 with a moment magnitude of 5.7 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shock caused considerable damage to El Salvador's capital city of San Salvador and surrounding areas, including neighboring Honduras and Guatemala.[4]


The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred within the upper crust of the Caribbean Plate along the Central American volcanic chain. It was a result of left-lateral strike slip faulting perpendicular to the Central American volcanic chain.[5] The earthquake also caused landslides located in the San Salvador area.[6]


The earthquake caused between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and left 200,000 homeless.[4][5] Shallow shocks directly under San Salvador caused the destruction of multiple structures. San Salvador's children's hospital, a marketplace, many restaurants and buildings, and shanty towns were significantly damaged or destroyed.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c ISC (19 January 2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre
  2. ^ a b c USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey
  3. ^ Bertero, V. V. (February 4, 1988). "Evolving Earthquake Hazard Mitigation Practices : Implications from Recent Chile, Mexico, and El Salvador Earthquakes, 1988 Annual Meeting (EERI)". The San Salvador earthquake of October 19, 1986. Mesa, Arizona: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  4. ^ "Significant earthquakes in 1986". Archived from the original on 2009-02-27.
  5. ^ White, Randall A.; Harlow, David H.; Alvarez, Salvador (1987-08-01). "The San Salvador Earthquake of October 10, 1986—Seismological Aspects and Other Recent Local Seismicity". Earthquake Spectra. 3 (3): 419–434. doi:10.1193/1.1585439. ISSN 8755-2930.
  6. ^ a b "El Salvador Earthquake October 1986". International Rescue Corps. Retrieved 2016-03-01.

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