A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit Ecuador - Peru border region at 10:17 UTC (05:17 local time) on February 22, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 132.4 km (82.3 miles). IGEPN is reporting M7.6 at a depth of 107 km (66.5 miles); EMSC M7.5 at a depth of 140 km (87 miles). This earthquake can have a medium humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.
The epicenter was located 16.6 km (10.3 miles) S of Montalvo (population 0), 121.7 km (75.6 miles) E of Macas (population 23 687) and 134.7 km (83.7 miles) SE of Puyo (population 24 881).
There are about 46 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).
26 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 405 000 strong, 5 787 000 moderate and 16 006 000 light.
IGEPN reports M6.1 aftershock at 10:20 UTC at a depth of 143 km (88.8 miles), M3.6 at 10:54 UTC, and M3.9 at 11:23 UTC.
The USGS issued a yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response.
Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Peru.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) construction.
Shaking was felt throughout the country. It was also felt in Peru, Colombia and Brazil.
Emergency services have rushed to the worst-hit areas to help assist with evacuations.
President Lenin Moreno said preliminary reports near Macas do not indicate major damages.
EMSC's 'I felt it' mention fairly long, 30 seconds or longer, shaking.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM
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