Moderate but dangerous shallow earthquake below the Dominican Republic - Damage and (at least) 4 injuries

Update July 16th, 08:04 UTC : The number of injured people has risen to 4, according to newspaper reports. All of them were injured by falling debris. In additional, many people went to hospital because of panic and its aftereffects, as reported earlier.
Damage was reported from different locations near the epicenter. Mainly minor structural damage is reported from residential houses. Damage was also inflicted to a number of schools, churches, hospitals and stores. There are no reports of collapsed buildings or severely injured people.

Update 17:47 UTC : One man in San Francisco de Macoris was injured as his head was hit by a falling piece of debris and transfered to hospital.

Update 17:22 UTC : Civil Protection reported two damaged houses in Villa González with cracked walls. Also a school in Villa Gonzales suffered some cracks in plaster.

Update 16:33 UTC : An additional reason to call this earthquake dangerous is the soft soil in the triangle in between San Fransisco de Macoris, Los Guaranas and Pimentel. On the image below one can see a) the triangle area (epicenter somewhere in the middle) and b) the patchwork of farming fields. An earthquake below farming field gives considerable more damage than in a rock environment.

Update 16:30 UTC : The strongest shaking was experienced in the area of San Francisco de Macoris, Las Guaranas and Pimentel. These areas also report damage. In San Francisco de Macoris, the lobby of the local university cracked. Also the windows in some malls broke.

Update 15:59 UTC : Many aftershocks have been reported so far. This may go on for many days, even weeks and months. Normally the aftershocks will be weaker but a stronger one than the mainshock can never be excluded. Nobody in the world can however predict Magnitude and time of occurrence of the next ones.

Update 15:39 UTC : Seismogram of the earthquake from a seismograph installed at Presa de Sabaneta. We attract your attention to a foreshock which is clearly visible on this seismogram.

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 17.36.40

Update 15:33 UTC : Electrical power was down in Nagua and local telephone traffic was down as well. Mobile communication is mostly pulled down by people using voice calls to family and friends. Text messages are using a hundred times less and would never create problems in telecommunications. So, Solution is simple : limit voice calls to rescue and relief personnel and send a message to other users that they can only use text  messages for a short time.

Update 15:32 UTC : At the moment of writing this update local media are reporting damage at some schools and other buildings. No injuries reported so far.

Update 15:14 UTC : some people went to the hospital after the quake. Main reason : Shock and High blood pressure. No direct shaking injuries so far.

Update 15:08 UTC : Local media are reporting mainly what we are talking about and are publishing some felt reports like you can read an abundance of them below. So, nothing specific as yet about eventual damage. We hope of course that nobody was injured during this earthquake.

Update 15:00 UTC : The epicenter, and thus potentially dangerous area, is close to Las Guaranas and San Fransisco de Macoris.

Update 14:48 UTC : At about the same time, a very strong earthquake struck the South Sandwich Islands. This quake has however nothing to do with this earthquake. The South Sandwich Islands are located near Antarctica !

Update 14:27 UTC : If the preliminary values are being confirmed (M5.1 @ 14 km), calls an area of 15 to 20 km as potentially dangerous for slight damage like cracks in walls, fallen objects, rooftiles coming down, boken glass etc.

Update 14:25 UTC : The earthquake was being felt stronger in Santo Domingo than in Sosua. Based on the received MMI shaking values in our back office, we can conclude that the shaking was acceptable, even in the epicenter area

USGS reports a Magnitude of 5.1 at a depth of 14 km. calls this earthquake "dangerous" for slight damage and even slight injuries.

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 16.07.59

7km (4mi) S of Las Guaranas, Dominican Republic
9km (6mi) NNW of Cotui, Dominican Republic
10km (6mi) E of Fantino, Dominican Republic
19km (12mi) SSE of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic
72km (45mi) NNW of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.1

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-07-15 10:02:31

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-07-15 14:02:31

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 14 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the "I Felt It" button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
WCATWC Dominican Republic Region Jul 15 14:03 5.1 14 MAP I Felt It
  • Cabarete - Patio doors rattled on main floor of building. Felt by person sitting outside by pool. Felt by person sitting indoor on couch against wall.
  • santo domingo - lo senti muy bien, estaba en mi sofa y vi moverse la computadora sobre la mesa, despues senti que se movia el sofa. Duro como 5 segundos.
  • GEOFON Dominican Republic Region Jul 15 14:02 4.9 10 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Dominican Republic Jul 15 14:02 4.9 37 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Dominican Republic Jul 15 14:02 4.9 30 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Dominican Republic Jul 15 14:02 5.1 14 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Santo Domingo - Se movio absolutamente todo y duro aproximadamente 7 segundos.
  • Santo Domingo - Very notable shaking.. People alarmed.
  • Santo Domingo - I was working at my desk and I saw the desk shaking.
  • santiago - ahora mismo senti terremoto en santiago de los caballeros
  • santo domingo - It woke me up
  • Sosua - Probably a 4 ... grew up in California and am used to them. this one was pretty minor, just a mild shaking, no rolling. 10:05 local time July 15
  • Santiago - It was like pulls. Kind of a dizzy.
  • Sosua - The door rattled, then I felt light-headed as if the room was moving.
  • Santo Domingo, D.N - Bed shaked and ceiling lamp too.
  • Santo Domingo - Home, on a 4th floor, it shook a lot! We were ready to evacuate!!!!!
  • Sanfransico de macoris - Pense que me ivan a cael la cosas ribba
  • cabarete - all my friends felt it too!
  • Santo Domingo - While sitting at my office, at ground level, I felt a strong shake for about 3 seconds. It was more of a circular motion than the wavy type.
  • Santo Domingo - At worj and heard a popping noise and real rumbling
  • San Francisco de Macoris - I was in the kitchen and everything started to shake
  • Jacagua - I was lying down on the couch when i felt light shaking
  • Juan Dolio - Sitting on our balcony...chair under me moved. Felt a definite bump under my seat. Have a metal clothes drying rack top surface is about 4' by 18" was rattling side to side and end to end. We have heavy sliding security gates (3 panel) over the door leading onto the balcony covering a 10' opening. They rattled for atleast 10 seconds. This was actually scared me, as it wasn't just a simple bump "Did I feel something?" but the rattling/shaking continued for a minimum of 10 seconds.
  • Sosua - The bed was being shaken. It lasted a few seconds.
  • R D Sosua - Très Très Minime
  • Baitoa - slight shaking and confusion, furniture was rocking
  • RD Sosua - Très Minime
  • santo domingo - nothing
  • Cabarete - Sitting on my back porch in Cabarete and my chaise lounge was moving.
  • Santo Domingo - ah....just like being at home in California....sitting at my desk on the 4th floor in Santo Domingo.
  • santo domingo - j'ai l'habitude des tremblement, j'ai vecu en haiti le tremblement du 12 janvier 2010. Apres le secousse je me suis empressé de sortir de mon bureau
  • Santo Domingo - Sentada en la oficina
  • Distrito Nacional, El cacique II - Sentí dos veces el tempblor
  • Cotui - Se sintió bastante fuerte y se sintieron algunas replicas
  • Baitoa - slight shaking and confusion. makes you feel really dizzy and disoriented. Not too bad and no damage here
  • santiago - primer terremoto que siento en la provincia de santiago fue muy debil.
  • El Almirante, Santo Domingo - Wife and I where in the living room and immediately got up and ran to the patio when the couch started shaking. Mi esposa y yo inmediatamente salimos corriendo hacia el patio cuanto sentimos el mueble moverse.
  • Santo Domingo - Es necesario no alarmar a la población y hacer mayores esfuerzos para expandir cultura preventiva en nuestros países. Se sintió fuerte en la oficina.
  • santo domingo - weak shake and little noise
  • Santo Domingo - Se sintió bastante con mediana duración...
  • Santo Domingo - My office is on the 18th floor of a building and I really felt the shake, it may me feel completely powerless. Horrible.
  • Cabarete - Watching tv couch I was sitting on vibrated back & forth as if someone was behind me shaking it and the lampshade swayed to & fro
  • West side Santo Domingo - the tower building i was in moved
  • Nagua - I was sitting in our apartment's porch and suddenly everything started shaking. It felt stronger than when the earthquake happened in Haiti. It was brief, but strong.
  • Don Pedro, Santiago - Sitting ay home and felt sofá moving tren i san my floor fan moving for about 10 seconds
  • Distrito Nacional - Todo se movió a mi alrededor. Qué desprotegidos nos sentimos cuando la naturaleza nos devuelve un poco del daño que le hemos profesado!
  • Santo Domingo - Horrible
  • Santo Domingo - OOHH, it was an earthquake... I thought it was my body dancing as last night.
  • Cabrera,Prov MTS - Dog was barking without other reason, doors slightly "clippering"
  • Jarabacoa - Did not feel anything in our area. Clicked very weak shaking only because clicking something was required but in reality, we did not feel this quake.
  • santo domingo este - senti un poco de temor
  • Santo Domingo - Estando en la oficina sentado,senti fuertes movimientos,como si el techo fuera a caer
  • Santo Domingo - fuertes movimientos circulares por pocos segundos. 3a5sg aproximadamente.
  • Nagua, El Papaya - I was not the one that experienced it, it was my wife, she was outside of Nagua, in a place called El Papayo. She told me that it was a very brief and strong shaking and a lot of things were tosed all over the place.
  • Las Terrenas - Building shook, table and furniture shook, lasted for about a couple seconds.
  • Santiago, Dominican Republic - I was sleeping, and the bed started to shake with me. It woke me up.
  • samana - algunos 5 sec leve movimiento sentido en la zona montañosa....


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    I felt the shaking *
    Country where you felt the earthquake *
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Shaking Strength *
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
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