Strong and shallow M5.9 earthquake hits Arunachal Pradesh, India

Strong and shallow M5.9 earthquake hits Arunachal Pradesh, India

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M5.9 (downgraded from M6.1) hit Arunachal Pradesh, India at 20:15 UTC on April 23, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 14 km (8.7 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.9 at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

The epicenter was located 40 km (24.8 miles) NW of Along (population 18 425), 86.8 km (53.9 miles) WNW of Pasighat (population 25 581) and 97.6 km (60.6 miles) N of Silapathar (population 22 407), India.

There are 620 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

3 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 15 000 strong, 50 000 moderate and 5 665 000 weak.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties.

Yellow alert for issued for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of India. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block with wood and unreinforced brick masonry construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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