Some houses destroyed but no casualties reported after yesterday's Ethiopian earthquake

UPDATE 04/01/2011-12:38 : There is NO immediate sign that volcanoes in the greater Hoseana area will become active.

FINAL UPDATE 24/12-01:20 : Ethiopian TV has aired a video report on the earthquake. It is merely a conversation with a seismologist in Addis Abeba. Pictures are recorded in Hoseana and show only fallen debris, cracks in houses and broken windows. The video is spoken in Amharic.

UPDATE 21/12  09:32 UTC : No more news facts. It disturbs us that we have no reports from Hoseana, a big city much closer to the epicenter of the earthquake. If anyone of our readers has relatives in Hoseana, please try to find out what happened there.

UPDATE 20:30 UTC : The Jimma Times, an Ethiopian local newspaper  reports that yesterday's earthquake was felt in parts of Jimma and Asendabo towns of Oromia while the quake has reportedly damaged houses in Hosana, Wenjela and Shenkola areas. There have been no reports of deaths as of Monday morning however, dozens of Jimma University students have been injured.
Jimma was approx. 100 km from the epicenter. If this report is true, what we do not doubt, fears that these reports maybe the beginning of more damage and injuries reports.

Original article
With thanks to a number Ethiopian readers of we are able to develop a view on what happened exactly during yesterdays earthquake in Ethiopia. We truly thank our readers for their involvement.

The Ethiopian Addis Abeba university published a report that the earthquake occurred in and around Hossana and had a Magnitude of 5.3. It happened at 3:15 local time.

Following ENA (Ethiopian News Agency) the earthquake lasted 19 seconds and was felt very well in the greater Hossana area.
Some traditional old earthen houses were demolished as a result of the earthquake
Some houses erected with modern materials were left with cracks in the walls.
No people were killed and it is uncertain if people have been injured.

Here are a few of the reports from our readers (they can also be read below our main article published shortly after the earthquake)

"One of the cities in the South west part of Ethiopia was also shaking yesterday in the afternoon¦..we were a bit troubled and run out of our houses but it was just only for few seconds and it was not much visible¦¦"


"My brother called me yesterday from hossana. there was aprroximatly 5 sec earth quake around hossaena. some building glasses destroyed and and a littil deformation on buildings. there was minor injures. the earthquake powered to damage house hold furnitures on the shelfs."

Link to the Ethiopian earthquake location in our

Read also our original reporting from yesterday

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M 5.1
UTC Time :  Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 12:14:24 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 03:14:24 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 9.8 km
Send an "earthquake experience report" for this earthquake
Geo-location(s)  (horizontal uncertainty +/- 15.3 km) :
Approx. 10 km from Hossana, Fonka and Jajura
200 km (124 miles) SW (215°) from ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
219 km (136 miles) N (9°) from Gidole, Ethiopia

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map

LIVE SEISMOGRAM (nearest Seismograph station)
GDACS ORANGE earthquake report

QuakeSOS has been developed to help actively people who are caught in an earthquake + delivers "Earthquake Report" information on your iPhoneQuakeSOS is a FREE iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck (SOS Earthquakes), the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with "Earthquake Report" news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS will be your closest earthquake friend.
a was also created by SOS Earthquakes. makes it easy to let the world know which shaking people have experienced during the earthquake. gives also the opportunity to write some additional text. Filling up the form takes only 1 minute. gives an overview of all the resent earthquakes and let you even go back in time and retrieve earthquakes of a certain date in the past.


  1. interesting site I like it

    • Thanks for the comment. We appreciate the support! Please come back soon when you want the latest earthquake info, or if you have any earthquake damage reports from your region.
      All the best,

  2. Exodus Getahun says:

    I am in hossana at that time & in 1st day the earth quake was heavy & it's duration is about 10 sec
    next day it happens about 5 times, not heavy .......... no other fact

  3. mesfin kidanemariam says:

    i love those whom try their best to inform us about the case

  4. Gianmario says:

    I found an interesting link of this site

    Addis Ababa, December 20, 2010 (Addis Ababa) - Some 26 students of Jimma University sustain minor injury following Sunday afternoon™s earthquake that stricken Hossana town and its environs.
    University Public Relation Department told ENA that the students were injured while trying to escape from the building out. The department said the students have received medical treatment.
    It said some windows of the buildings were broken by the tremor.
    Earthquake Expert with the Geophysics, Space Science and Astronomy Service, Dr. Atalay Ayele said the earth earthquake measuring 5.3 at Richter scale hit Hossana town and its environs at 3.15 PM local time and stayed for 16 seconds. The earthquake that lasted 19 seconds has brought no causality so far except cracks on some buildings existing in the town, the Hossanna Town Police Inspector, Erdedo Awono said.
    Some old earthen houses were also demolished as a result of the earthquake.

    OTHER LINKS (it seems that have already been evaluated by

  5. Gianmario says:

    May I suggest to read this link where some more infos on injuried students in Jmma university are reported.

    Warmest regards. Gianmario

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks Gianmario - very important information from the scene. Will update my article immediately. Together, we can make the difference as you see 🙂

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Thanks GianMario, We have included this report in an update of our second article on this earthquake -