Powerful M7.5 earthquake hits northern Peru


A major earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit a very sparsely populated region of northern Peru at 10:52 UTC on November 28, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 112.5 km (69.9 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.5 at a depth of 110 km (68.3 miles).

The epicenter was located 43 km (27 miles) NNW of Barranca (population 5 779), and 173 km (107 miles) N of Moyobamba (population 44 276), Peru.

27 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 127 000 very strong, 1 090 000 strong, and 4 343 000 moderate.

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 reinforced/confined masonry construction.

USGS estimated limited number / and (or) spatial extent of landslides triggered by this earthquake. The number of people living near areas that could have produced landslides in this earthquake is low, but landslide damage or fatalities are still possible in highly susceptible areas.

Liquefaction triggered by this earthquake is estimated to be extensive in severity and (or) spatial extent and the number of people living near areas that could have produced liquefaction in this earthquake is significant.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Government officials said buildings and roads have suffered damage and the president of the country vowed support for those affected.

Power outages were reported in several locations, at least 220 homes were seriously damaged or destroyed and at least 10 people were injured. Civil Defense authorities said 75 homes were destroyed.

The Mayor of the city of Jalca Grande said that 60 or 70% of the 3 000 families in the city had some damage to the home.

A 14-m (46 feet) tower, part of a 16th-century complex considered the oldest Catholic temple in the Amazonas region, was destroyed although the main atrium appeared to still be standing.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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