Strong M6.6 earthquake hits near the coast of El Salvador

Strong M6.6 earthquake hits near the coast of El Salvador

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.6 hit near the coast of El Salvador at 09:03 UTC (03:03 local time) on May 30, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 65.1 km (40.4 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.6 at a depth of 91 km (30.8 miles). This earthquake can have a medium humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

The epicenter was located 27.7 km (17.2 miles) SSE of La Libertad (population 16 855), 38.4 km (23.9 miles) S of Zaragoza (population 11 749) and 48 km (29.8 miles) S of Santa Tecla (population 124 694), El Salvador.

There are 4 810 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake, PTWC said.

2 399 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 2 754 000 moderate and 10 379 000 light.

Power outages have been reported in parts of the country.

Coastal areas are reportedly being evacuated.

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 El Salvador.

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 adobe block and dressed stone/block masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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