Earthquake overview : A massive earthquake happened approx. 20 miles (30 km) out of the Champerico coast. The preliminary depth of 33 km and the distance to the coast will have hopefully weakened the shaking considerably.
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Guatemala-only earthquake list
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Very strong aftershock on November 11 inflicts more damage and injuries
Please Click here to read what we wrote about this aftershock
Final Summary Nov. 14 06:17 UTC :
- 44 people were killed as a result of this earthquake.
- 25840 people are currently homeless. (9853 people are in shelters)
- 1,292,017 people were affected by this earthquake.
More than 400 volunteers helped to collect data on building damage.
- 12045 houses were damaged as a result of this earthquake (3064 with severe damage, 4318 with moderate damage, 3244 with light damage and 1419 at risk).
Overview update Nov. 10 13:27 UTC :
- The death toll has been decreased to 42 (what often happens during earthquakes is double counting - the best example of which was in Chile 2010 with the reduction from 800 to 500, and in Haiti from 225,0o0 to around 137,000)
- The death toll of 42, also leaves 2 missing which contribute to a total of 44 people.
- Aldo Domínguez Vásquez, an United States child, was the first American to be found dead. He was 11 years old
- Basic services are now completely reestablished
- 3770 houses have been damaged in Quiché, San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, Retalhuleu, Huehuetenango, Sololá and Suchitepéquez,
- The Interamericana highway has now been cleaned of landslides and debris and can be used over his full length again
- About 100 schools damaged (earlier reports spoke of 10)
- As most of you know, this earthquake was also felt in Mexico – Most of the footage from this video comes from locations in Mexico (ie Mexico City). The shaking on this video cannot be compared with the damaging shaking in some parts of Guatemala (no video footage from there)
Overview update 9/11 11:15 UTC :
- 52 people killed, 22 still missing.
- 40 dead in San Marcos, 11 in Quetzaltenango and 1 person in Sololá
- 5251 people homeless people in total (most likely those in the severely and moderately damaged homes), currently staying with family or in tents.
- 2263 houses were damaged (554 houses severely damaged, 991 moderately damaged, 538 slightly damaged, and 180 houses damaged to some extent)
- 1.249 million people were affected by the quake.
- In the departments of San Marcos and Quetzaltenango, 44.22 tons (44220kg) of humanitarian assistance have been provided as of late 8/11 – resources consisted of pure water, sponges, porridge, individual rations, personal hygiene kits and disposable diapers. These resources have been moved to the Disaster Response Centers of both departments.
Update 23:15 UTC : same statistics than earlier today
- 52 people killed
- 22 still missing
- A lot of countries have offered aid to the Guatemala government, among them : USA, Spain and almost all the Latin American countries
Update 16:42 UTC : President Otto Pérez:
- 762 persons are currently in hotels and lodges.
- 2966 have evacuated their houses
- 1.2 million people are affected by the earthquake for different reasons
Update 16:23 UTC :
- 52 fatalities have now been confirmed officially
- 22 people are still missing
- The government has send 44 tons of aid and huge numbers of bottled drinking water to the hardest hit areas
- Some roads in the damaged areas are instable and the President of Guatemala has asked his population not to use these roads if it is not really needed
- Power has been restored in 95% of the country. The President hopes that the remaining users will get power again today.
- 200 people have been treated for injuries in the hospital of hard hit San Marcos – 50 had to stay
Update 16:02 UTC :
- In one of our former updates, we expected that new modern earthquake resistant houses would not have been damaged. This is currently confirmed by Conred. Most of the damaged houses are “adobe – non earthquake resistant houses”.
Once more we make a plea for house owners to reinforce their houses (mostly by making a few improvements on the structure). This does not have to make you poor.
- Rescue forces are still trying to find buried persons after San Marcos landslides
Important update 14:09 UTC :
- The Situation Map from CONRED below (Guatemalan civil defence) gives the best possible view on the current operations
Update 12:13 UTC :
Official toll was as follows at 00:00 local Guatemala time ;
- 50 people killed
- 21 missing
- 150 injured
- 17000 people affected who need aid in one or another way
- Most affected sectors in the country : San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Sololá and Totonicapán
- People older than 40 years will certainly remember the cruel earthquake of February 4 1976, when more than 23000 people lost their lives !
- 29 aftershocks in between M4.2 and M4.6 were registered in between the occurrence of the mainshock and midnight local time
- What has puzzled us so far was why the damage was so huge far away from the epicenter. Local seismologists confirmed our guesses. The hardest hit areas are build on softer soil than the other areas who suffered the earthquake. Among this softer soil, a lot of non consolidated ash from the close-by volcanoes. Waves are propagated a lot better is this kind of soil than on rocky older sediments. How to protect your house against it : following the guidelines of earthquake resistant building would do the job
Update 11:07 UTC :
The video below (sorry for YT ads these days) is giving a good view of the damage Guatemala has got after a M7.2 earthquake struck the coastal area yesterday. People who did follow our reporting will probably see no new issues, but nevertheless this video gives a good overview of an earthquake sjo stayed in the shadow of the US elections.
- 82 repair teams have been working day and nigh to reestablish power for those who lost it
Update 04:00 UTC :
- The death toll of 48 with 23 missing is a reduction on local press reports but an increase on the previous figures of 30 and 39. 155 injured. 17000+ affected.
- The deaths occurred in San Pedro Sacatepequez, adjacent to San Marcos through a combination of landslides through shaking, and building collapses.
- The red alert is still in place by the government.
- At least 135 houses have been destroyed with additional ones damaged.
Update 03:35 UTC :
INSIVUMEH is reporting that the earthquake was M7.2 at a depth of 33.2km, with a MMI of V. This was of course far below what was felt onshore where MMI experience reports of VII-VIII have been seen.
- The death toll of 48 is currently the 5th highest death toll for 2012.
Update 03:20 UTC :
- Official death toll now stands at 48 people with 23 additional people missing. 150 people have been reported injured (up from 5 from previous reports). 250+ have been determined to be homeless and the affected remain at around 17000.
-Although there has not been a large amount of people affected by this earthquake, those affected have been significantly affected by this earthquake.
Update 01:22 UTC :
- The official death toll stands at 39 people
- 17000 people have been affected by the earthquake and will receive temporary shelters, food and clothing from relief services like Conred.
- Assessment of the damage is still going on
- As it is dark right now in Guatemala, we will have to wait until the morning hours to get more news and data. Let’s hope that there will be only few and weak aftershocks.
Update 23:48 UTC :
- Below what is called a huge landslide. 8 people were buried my the ground masses at Concepción Chiquirichapa (twitter picture from PrensaLibre Guatemala)
Update 23:25 UTC :
- Almost no new or updated reports at this moment
- The government has said that they will give a press conference in less than 2 hours
- Click here to have a glimpse of the damage
- landslides and huge racks on the road are blocking a number of roads
- The governments of Costa Rica and Honduras have offered their support at the Guatemala government
Update 22:11 UTC :
- Electricity is still cut off for 10000 people at Champerico, near the epicenter
- Still no electricity nor telecommunications at the hard hit San Marcos area
- When it is good news, we like to bring it too : 4 bodies in Concepción Chiquirichapa have been rescued..still 6 more under the rubble
- as could be expected, aftershocks up to Magnitude 5 are rattling the greater epicenter area. this will go on for many days and even weeks with sometimes aftershocks who can reach M6 or even more. A very annoying period for those who are already suffering.
Update 21:55 UTC :
The number of fatalities is rising very fast. We give you the numbers as they are appearing in the local press (this means that these numbers are NOT official).
- 63 deaths, 25 under rumble and more than 150 missing.
These are cruel numbers for a central-American earthquake.
Update 21:33 UTC :
Numbers are varying depending the source they are coming from. At one hand the official numbers which are usually very low and at the other hand numbers coming from reporters in the field.
Many sources (which we cannot verify) are giving the following numbers :
At least 29 people are dead, 155 injured and more than 100 houses destroyed
- The earthquake was felt strong in l Salvador, Mexico and Honduras.
Update 21:25 UTC : Damage as photographed by twitter user @ferchosiliezar
- President Otto Pérez Molina is currently on his way to the hardest hit areas. People in San Marcos are telling ER that there are heavily damaged houses in almost every street.
Update 21:14 UTC :
- In Coatepque, Quetzaltenango damage has been reported on the municipal firestation
- a private school was evacuated because of cracks and fisures.
- In San Pedro Sacatepquez, San Marcos houses were destroyed including a school.
- tsunami warning still in place in Nicaragua
- The earthquake was also felt a far as Mexico City !!
Update 19:55 UTC : The Guatemala President, Otto Pérez Molina, has told the nation during a press conference that the rescue services will get all necessary funds to cope with this disaster. He also told the affected people not to stay in their houses the next 48 hours if these have been damaged.
Update 20:11 UTC : New numbers just reported by CONRED :
15 people killed so far
100 people missing
approx. 15 buried below the rubble of collapsed houses
Update 20:02 UTC
Click here to see some more pictures of the devastation. A press conference will be hold very soon at CONRED.
Landslides have been reported (common after massive earthquakes in mountainous areas).
The most affected areas in the country are : Costa de Quetzaltenango, San Marcos, Retalhuleu, Sololá, Totonicapán, Parte sur de Quiche and Huehuetenango.
We have currently NO people from the epicenter area in the site, only from Guatemala City. This can mean that the epicenter area is still without internet and electricity.
Update 19:55 UTC : AFP now reports that at least 10 people have been killed because of the Guatemala M7.2 earthquake. Remark : as often during major earthquakes, rumours and official numbers are sometimes contradictory – In Guatemala the death toll still stands at 8 but as we are sure that AFP is to be trusted we have passed the higher number to our readers.
Update 19:48 UTC : The damage is not really widespread but a lot of communities have damaged houses even at a great distance from the epicenter. What concerns us most is that we do not have reports from Champerico, the city closest to the epicenter.
The official death toll still stands at 8.
Update 19:39 UTC : 76000 people are still without electricity. As most of the wireless sending masts are depending on power and based on our experience have no batteries, telecommunications will not be possible neither.
Update 19:36 UTC : NOAA America indicates that a tsunami was probably generated near the epicenter and that the coast near the epicenter way have been hit by it? This does not mean however that the tsunami was devastating as even small tide differences also are falling under the denomination “tsunami”. Below the full report including the gauge data who are showing a small surge
Update 19:25 UTC : To make everything even worse, rain is pouring down in damaged areas
Update 19:25 UTC : More people are presently reported buried by collapsed houses, but they can eventually be rescued by SAR teams (Search and Rescue teams). Gradually, the scale of the earthquake starts to increase. This is a tragedy for Guatemala and his population.
Update 19:18 UTC : We are awaiting further news from within Guatemala. At ER we are very surprised that the fatalities occurred so far inland. The coastal area was very close to the epicenter but we have no news so far from eventual damage in that area. We have to take into account however that telecommunications and power will probably be still down.
Update 18:58 UTC : The number of fatalities continues to go up – at the moment 8. Most of the fatalities have been reported inland, although the epicenter was located in the Pacific Ocean. San Marcos is at least 50 km from Champerico. The fact that at least 5 people were reportedly killed at San Marcos means that the damage will be very big and that more injured peaple will probably follow.
Important update 18:51 UTC : The death toll has further increased to 5. All fatalities have been reported from San Marcos.
Update 18:31 UTC : Phone lines and cellular networks were down in the greater epicenter area. Power was/is aslo down.
Update 18:26 UTC : Fire department personnel is talking about 3 destroyed houses in Amatitlán. 2 people are reported as missing.
Update 18:16 UTC : Due to the death of 2 people, this earthquake becomes a CatDat Red earthquake. We feel very sorry for the family of the deceased. Lets hope that no other fatalities will be added to the current number. So far we have no numbers of injured but based on the image at right, we are sure that the damage will be considerable and that a lot of people will have been injured.
Update 18:05 UTC : Rescue services have confirmed that 2 people have been killed in San Marcos (Edilsa Castillo Merida, age 47 and her niece Melany Castillo age 6 months). An assessment of the damage is coordinated by Conred Guatemala and is currently going on.
Update 17:58 UTC : Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina has called the Red Alert in the country after the massive earthquake who struck a little earlier.
Update 17:56 UTC : Reports from our users are telling us that the shaking went on for about 30 seconds, which is quite a long time. To the positive side is that this is a typical subduction earthquake which happened within the pacific subducting plate.
Update 17:39 UTC : What concerns us to a certain point is that the coastal area seems to be rather flat and soft soiled. Soft soil means that the shaking wave propagation will be far stronger than in the case of a rocky bottom.
We are still waiting for news from the epicenter area.
Update 17:34 UTC : The Guatemalan Instituto Nacional de Sismología reports a Magnitude of 7.2 at a depth and mentions a MMI of V at many Guatemalan locations. The earthquake was well felt at Guatemala, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Alta Verapaz, Quetzaltenango, Suchitepéquez, Zacapa, Escuintla and Quiché.
Update 17:26 UTC : Based on the current USGS data, 236000 people will have experienced a very strong shaking (MMI VII). Nearly 2 million people a strong shaking. We will have to wait a little longer to get a better view on the potential damage. The chance on damage cannot be excluded as the location of the epicenter has been relocated closer to the coast.
Update 17:23 UTC : The max. MMI has been increased by USGS from VI to VII (strong increased to very strong shaking). The main risk however is a tsunami risk at the closest shores to the epicenter.
USGS is currently reporting a Magnitude of 7.5 at a depth of 33 km.
Luckily the epicenter is about 20 miles out of the coast which will weaken the shaking a lot.
So far a MMI VI has been reported (strong shaking).
There will certainly have been called a Tsunami alarm as the epicenter was close to the coast.
NOAA stipulates that there is NO tsunami warning for ALASKA/ BRITISH COLUMBIA/ WASHINGTON/ OREGON AND CALIFORNIA…, which must be a relief for those areas.
NOAA Tsunami bulletin
We will soon start an in-depth article on this massive earthquake.
Update 17:09 UTC : The max. shaking values we have received so far are MMI VI, which is very hopeful (minor damage and injuries expected at these values). The first reports we did receive did locate the epicenter closer to the coast, which is not confirmed by other agencies.
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.4
UTC Time : 2012-11-07 16:35:50 UTC
Local time at epicenter : 2012-11-07 10:35:50 UTC-06:00 at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 41.6 km
24km (15mi) S of Champerico, Guatemala
55km (34mi) SSW of Retalhuleu, Guatemala
60km (37mi) SSW of San Sebastian, Guatemala
Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Human impact map
NOAA tsunami report
|EMSC||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 22:42 PM||5.1||30||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 22:42 PM||5.1||35||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 19:55 PM||5.0||35||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 19:55 PM||5.0||35||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 18:09 PM||4.6||10||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 17:04 PM||5.0||35||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 17:04 PM||5.0||30||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 16:57 PM||4.7||35||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 16:57 PM||4.7||35||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Guatemala||Nov 07 16:35 PM||7.3||30||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 16:35 PM||7.4||41||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Offshore Guatemala||Nov 07 16:35 PM||7.5||33||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Guatemala||Nov 07 16:35 PM||7.3||26||MAP I Felt It|
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