M5.9 earthquake hits near the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador

M5.9 earthquake hits near the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M5.9 hit near the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador at 08:45 UTC on May 12, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 46 km (28 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.9 at a depth of 60 km (37 miles).

The epicenter was located 50 km (31 miles) SW of Acajutla, 68 km (42 miles) SW of Sonsonate, and 70 km (43 miles) SW of Sonzacate, El Salvador.

There are about 1 500 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

4 447 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking.

There is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

The quake was preceded by M5.6 at 08:17 UTC.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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 a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and adobe block with concrete bond beam 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: TW/SAM, Google


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