Strong M6.2 earthquake hits Nueva Concepción, Guatemala


A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.2 hit Nueva Concepción, Guatemala at 07:12 UTC on February 16, 2022. The agency is reporting a depth of 83.6 km (51.9 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.2 at a depth of 100 km (62 miles). INSIVUMEH registered it as M6.8 at a depth of 36 km (22.4 miles).

The epicenter was located 0.8 km (0.5 miles) SSE of Nueva Concepción (population 11 121), 12.2 km (7.6 miles) SE of Tiquisate (population 18 189) and 28 km (17.4 miles) SSW of Santa Barbara (population 12 906), Guatemala.

There are about 7.5 million people living within 100 km (62 miles).

325 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking and 3 179 000 moderate.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued a Green alert for shaking-related fatalities. There is a low likelihood of casualties.

A Yellow alert was 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 Guatemala. 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 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.

The quake damaged homes and triggered landslides.

Authorities reported two fatalities, a woman in the city of Mixco, a western suburb of the capital, and a man in the highland city of Quetzaltenango. Both died of heart attacks. (Reuters)

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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