Strong and shallow M6.2 earthquake near the coast of Ecuador

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.2 hit near the coast of Ecuador at 07:04 UTC on March 31, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 18.5 km (11.5 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.2 at a depth 40 km (24.8 miles). IGEPN is reporting M6.3 at a depth of 3 km (1.8 miles).

The epicenter was located 27 km (17 miles) NNE of Santa Elena (population 42 214), 29.6 km (18.4 miles) NNE La Libertad (population 75 881), 29.9 km (18.6 miles) WSW of Pedro Carbo (population 23 372), and 74.9 km (46.6 miles) SSW of Jipijapa (population 35 901), Ecuador.

The quake was followed numerous aftershocks, including M5.0 at 07:08 UTC and M5.4 at 07:28 UTC.

There are 1 560 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

302 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 203 000 moderate and 3 159 000 light.

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 highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and adobe block 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: Google, TW/SAM

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