Strong M6.5 earthquake hits near the coast of El Salvador

el salvador earthquake july 19 2023 location map f

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.5 hit near the coast of El Salvador at 00:22 UTC on July 19, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 69.7 km (43.4 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.5 at a depth of 68.8 km (42.7 miles).

The epicenter was located 43.3 km (26.9 miles) S of Intipucá (population 3 540), 65.8 km (40.9 miles) SSW of La Unión (population 26 807), 67.8 km (42.2 miles) SSE of San Rafael Oriente (population 19 095), and 69.2 km (43 miles) SSE of Usulután (population 51 910), El Salvador.

446 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 1 545 000 moderate and 11 006 000 light.

Based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records, the earthquake is not expected to generate a tsunami, NWS NTWC said.

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 mud wall and adobe block construction.

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

The quake was followed by M5.0 at 02:46 UTC.

el salvador earthquake july 19 2023 location map bg
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

el salvador earthquake july 19 2023 usgs epe

Selected cities exposed

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Regional seismicity

el salvador earthquake july 19 2023 emsc rs

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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