List of earthquakes in Cuba

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Map showing regional tectonic setting of the Oriente fault zone

Cuba is located in an area with several active fault systems which produce on average about 2000 seismic events each year.[1] While most registered seismic events pass unnoticed, the island has been struck by a number of destructive earthquakes over the past four centuries, including several major quakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or above.

Approximately 70% of seismic activity in Cuba emanates from the Oriente fault zone, located in the Bartlett-Cayman fault system which runs along the south-eastern coast of Cuba and marks the tectonic boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate.[2] The 12 currently active faults in Cuba also include the Cauto-Nipe, Cochinos and Nortecubana faults.[2] Destructive earthquakes originating from the Oriente fault occurred in 1766 (=7.6), 1852 (=7.2) and 1932 (=6.75).[3] Some studies suggest there is a high probability the Oriente fault will produce a magnitude 7 earthquake in the near future.[4]

Notable earthquakes in recent Cuban history include the following:

Name Date Epicentre M Intensity Depth Notes Deaths
1578 Cuba earthquake 157808000000August 1578
Santiago de Cuba[1] 6.8 VIII 30 km Magnitude estimated at 6.8 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at VIII EMS-98.[1]
1580 Cuba earthquake 1580121900001580-12-19
Santiago de Cuba [5]
1632 Cuba earthquake 163210000000October 1632
Santiago de Cuba [6]
1675 Cuba earthquake 1675021100001675-02-11
Santiago de Cuba [1][7] 5.8 VII 30 km Magnitude estimated at 5.8 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at VII EMS-98.[1]
1678 Cuba earthquake 1678021100001678-02-11
14:59
Santiago de Cuba [7] 6.8 VIII 30 km Magnitude estimated at 6.8 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at VIII EMS-98.[1]
1679 Cuba earthquake 1679021100001679-02-11
Santiago de Cuba [7]
1682 Cuba earthquake 1682000000001682
Santiago de Cuba [7] 5.8 VII 30 km Magnitude estimated at 5.8 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at VII EMS-98.[1]
1693 Cuba earthquake 169307000000July 1693
Havana[8] "1,500 houses thrown down"
1757 Cuba earthquake 1757121400001757-12-14
Santiago de Cuba [9]
1766 Cuba earthquake 1766061100001766-06-11
05:14
Santiago de Cuba [10] 7.6 [3] IX 35 km Magnitude estimated at 7.6 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at IX EMS-98.[1] 120
1826 Cuba earthquake 1826091800001826-09-18
09:26
Santiago de Cuba [11] 5.8 VII 30 km Magnitude estimated at 5.8 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at VII EMS-98.[1]
1842 Cuba earthquake 1842070700001842-07-07
Santiago de Cuba[1] 6.0 VII 30 km Magnitude estimated at 6.0 ML on the Richter magnitude scale, intensity at VII EMS-98.[1]
1852 Cuba earthquake 185209214051852-08-20
14:05 UTC
Santiago de Cuba [10][12] 7.2 [3] IX 30 km Intensity estimated at IX EMS-98,[1] with 26 heavy aftershocks. Caused severe damage to churches and other buildings in Santiago de Cuba, as well as landslides in the Sierra Maestra region. Shaking felt in the whole of eastern Cuba, up to the islands of Jamaica and Hispaniola.[13]
1852 Cuba earthquake (November) 1852112608371852-11-26
08:37 GMT
Santiago de Cuba, Sierra Maestra[1][14] 7.0 VIII 35 km
1858 Cuba earthquake 1858012800001858-01-28
22:04
Santiago de Cuba[1] 6.5 VII 30 km
1880 Cuba earthquake 1880012300001880-01-23
04:39
San Cristóbal/Vuelta Abajo (Pinar del Río) [1][15][16] 6.0 VIII 15 km A series of severe shock waves originating from western Cuba were also felt in the town of Key West (Florida), and included a strong earthquake on 23 January 1880 in San Cristóbal, Pinar del Río at 4 a.m.[16]
1903 Cuba earthquake 1903092200001903-09-22
08:09
Santiago de Cuba[1] 5.7 VII 30 km
1906 Cuba earthquake 1906062200001906-06-22
07:09
Santiago de Cuba[1] 6.2 VII 30 km
1914 Cuba earthquake 1914022800001914-02-28
05:19
Gibara[1] 6.2 VII 32 km
1914 Cuba earthquake 1914122500001914-12-25
05:19
Santiago de Cuba[1] 6.7 VII 30 km
1932 Cuba earthquake 1932020306161932-02-03
20°00′00″N 75°48′00″W / 20.000°N 75.800°W / 20.000; -75.800
Santiago de Cuba [17]
6.75 [3] VIII Intensity estimated at VIII EMS-98.[1] 8[17] – 1500[18] deaths, 300 injured. 80% of buildings in Santiago de Cuba affected.,[17] with damage totaling 15 million Pesos.[13] 8
1947 Cuba earthquake 1947080700401947-08-07
00:40:20 hrs
19°45′N 75°19′W / 19.75°N 75.32°W / 19.75; -75.32

Santiago de Cuba [19]

6.8 VIII 50 km Magnitude estimated at 6.8 ML and intensity VIII EMS-98.[1]
1992 Cuba earthquake 1992052500001992-05-25
16:55:04 UTC
19°36′47″N 77°52′19″W / 19.613°N 77.872°W / 19.613; -77.872
Cabo Cruz, PilónManzanillo[20]
6.9 [21] VII 23 km A strong earthquake struck the Cabo Cruz sector, leaving 40 people injured and more than 820 buildings damaged in the Pilon-Manzanillo area.[22] -
M = Magnitude on the Richter magnitude scale (ML), except where noted

Intensity= Intensity on the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS-98), which is somewhat similar to the Modified Mercalli scale (MM)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas, 2009
  2. ^ a b Cotilla, 2007
  3. ^ a b c d Alvarez 1999:2
  4. ^ Rubio, 1985
  5. ^ Milne, 1912: 30
  6. ^ Milne, 1912: 32
  7. ^ a b c d Milne, 1912: 36
  8. ^ Milne, 1912: 37
  9. ^ Milne, 1912: 44
  10. ^ a b Cotilla, 2003
  11. ^ Milne, 1912: 54
  12. ^ Milne, 1912: 62
  13. ^ a b ONE, 2006
  14. ^ Milne 1912: 63
  15. ^ Milne 1912: 80
  16. ^ a b "Florida. Earthquake History". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  17. ^ a b c "Significant Earthquake". National Geophysical Data Center. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  18. ^ Earthquake in Cuba. 1500 Deaths reported. The Sidney Morning Herald, Feb. 4, 1932.
  19. ^ A Chronological History of the U.S. Navy Cruiser U.S.S. LITTLE ROCK
  20. ^ USGS. "Significant Earthquakes of the World, 1992". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  21. ^ Pierrot et al, 1998
  22. ^ Earthquake in Cuba Injures 40 and Destroys 100 Homes

Other sources[edit]