Strong and shallow M6.8 earthquake hits near the coast of O’Higgins, Chile


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.8 hit near the coast of O'Higgins​, Chile at 18:28 UTC on August 1, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.8 at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles).

The epicenter was located 95 km (59 miles) SW of San Antonio (population 85 651), 97 km (60 miles) WNW of Santa Cruz (population 33 283), 99 km (61 miles) SW of Cartagena (population 16 875) and 114 km (71 miles) WNW of San Vicente (population 22 572).

There are about 300 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Some 30 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 127 000 moderate and 10 923 000 light.

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

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

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 concrete bond beam and unreinforced brick with concrete floor construction.

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

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: USGS


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