Slightly damaging earthquake near the coast of Guatemala - June 22, 2017

Update Friday 07:00 UTC: Latest CONRED statistics as per 16:00 (4 PM) local time
65 incidents reported, 122 affected persons, 21 people with damaged properties, 4 injured, 5 houses with slight damage, 15 houses with moderate damage, 1 house with serious damage, 8 affected roads, 11 affected schools, 7 affected churches, 14 affected buildings, 1 destroyed bridge.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-23 om 08.59.06

Update 22:22 UTC: Understanding the M6.8 Guatemala earthquake

The June 22, 2017 M 6.8 earthquake offshore of Guatemala occurred as the result of shallow thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone interface in the region. At the location of this earthquake, the Cocos plate converges with the Caribbean plate at a rate of 69 mm/yr towards the northeast, and subducts beneath Central America at the Middle America Trench, 110 km to the southwest of this earthquake. The June 22nd event is located near to the triple junction between the Cocos, Caribbean, and North America tectonic plates; just to the northwest of this earthquake, the Cocos plate subducts beneath the North America plate at the slightly faster rate of 79 mm/yr, accommodating left-lateral strike-slip motion between the Caribbean and North America plates near the surface in south-central Guatemala. The location, depth, and focal mechanism solution of the June 22nd earthquake are all consistent with the event occurring on the subduction zone interface.

Central America is very seismically active, and the region within 250 km of the June 22, 2017 event has experienced 35 other M 6.5+ earthquakes over the preceding century. Most also occurred on the shallow plate interface in this region. The largest was a M 7.7 earthquake in August 1942, 25 km to the northwest of today’s earthquake, which caused 38 fatalities and triggered many landslides along the coast of Guatemala. A M 6.8 in October 1979, 15 km to the northeast of the June 22, 2017 earthquake, resulted in 7 fatalities.

The June 22nd, 2017 earthquake also follows a series of 16 events of M 4.0-5.5 on or near the subduction thrust interface about 150-250 km to the northwest, between late May 2017 and as recent as June 19, 2017. On June 14, 2017, a larger M 6.9 normal faulting, intermediate depth earthquake occurred within the subducting Cocos plate 175 km to the northwest of today’s event. The June 14th earthquake has been reported to have caused 5 fatalities.
Source: USGS

Update 22:22 UTC:
Probably the best scientific explanation of today's earthquake by Jay Patton. Click on the poster to connect to his great webpage.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-23 om 00.25.26

Update 22:00 UTC: Another update with unfortunately more numbers from CONRED at 13:00 local time
52 incidents reported, 52 affected persons, 9 people with damaged properties, 4 injured, 5 houses with slight damage, 4 houses with moderate damage, 8 affected roads, 9 affected schools, 6 affected churches, 11 affected buildings, 1 destroyed bridge.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 23.59.31

Update 16:18 UTC: Overview of the inspections of CONRED at 07:00 Local Guatemala time.
27 incidents reported, 4 houses with slight damage, 8 affected roads, 6 affected buildings, 2 affected bridges.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 18.20.06

Update 15:23 UTC: CONRED reports landslides and slight structural damage in Sacatepéquez, Totonicapán, Chimaltenango, Suchitepéquez and Escuintla

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 17.22.51

Photo: CONRED Guatemala

Update 15:18 UTC: At the moment of writing this update we have only found some limited damage as shown on the picture below. Luckily no reports of injuries or fatalities.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 17.17.42

Update 14:10 UTC: CONRED teams (civil defense Guatemala) are currently inspecting infrastructure and will help were needed.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 16.14.43

Update 14:05 UTC: Based on theoretical calculations USGS expects a max. strong shaking felt by  333,000 people. Nearly 17 million may have felt a light shaking.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 16.05.06-compressed

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 16.05.26-compressed

Update 13:58 UTC: Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects : 0 fatalities and 0 to 70 injured people

Update 13:48 UTC: Below the focal mechanism of this earthquake. The main movement is "thrust" due to the Caribbean plate pressing in opposite direction into the heavier Cocos oceanic plate who subducts the Caribbean plate.
Do beach balls looks like Chinese or Latin to you, check this article "Understanding Beach Balls"

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 15.56.24-compressed

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 15.38.54-compressed

The main movement as described above can be seen better on this image. We presume that Fault Plane 2 will be the one today (although in this case difficult to distinguish)

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 15.50.32-compressed

Main earth movement based on the current focal mechanism. Image courtesy Observatoire Geoscope

Update 13:46 UTC: NO tsunami alert for the North American coastal area's. Some strong currents and local tsunami possibility close to the epicenter is still possible. Inhabitants of the area will be locally informed about the danger.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 15.40.41-compressed

Update : Based on the present earthquake parameters (Magnitude, Depth, Population, etc) and our experience with earthquake damage impact, calls this earthquake  dangerous and expects some injuries and possibly serious damage

Update 13:45 UTC: Due to the epicenter closer to the coast we now think that the strong shaking at the coast meybe more dangerous than initially thought.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 15.38.22 Schermafbeelding 2017-06-22 om 15.38.33

Puerto San José, Guatemala, 23.7 km (14.7 mi) SWPopulation: 18,655
La Gomera, Guatemala, 38.2 km (23.7 mi) SSEPopulation: 24,001
Masagua, Guatemala, 51.0 km (31.7 mi) SSWPopulation: 10,045
Nueva Concepción, Guatemala, 62.4 km (38.7 mi) SEPopulation: 11,121
Escuintla, Guatemala, 63.6 km (39.5 mi) SSWPopulation: 103,165

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.8

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2017-06-22 12:31:01

Depth (Hypocenter) : 32 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Donation - long - San Francisco

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.

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Puerto San Jose, Guatemala Jun 22 21:09 4.2 48 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Offshore Guatemala Jun 22 21:09 4.2 48 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Puerto San Jose, Guatemala Jun 22 14:28 4.3 51 MAP
EMSC Offshore Guatemala Jun 22 14:28 4.3 52 MAP I Felt It INFO
PTWC Jun 22 12:36 6.8 0 MAP
USGS Puerto San Jose, Guatemala Jun 22 12:31 6.8 46 MAP
  • Antigua - Felt like two, one mild to start and then a bigger one. Rolling lasted around 45 seconds,maybe longer
  • San salvador - 10 to 12 seconds of light and quiet swaying with a couple of stronger movements then subsided.
  • San Jose Pinula - Very strong shaking of the house. Difficulty standing. Some minor plaster cracks in one of the houses.
  • San Pedro la laguna - REALLY shaking - cats jumped out the window / I ran outside --- as did many people around ... Dogs barking / no damage - but DEEP shaking
  • Antigua - Don't know how long it lasted because it woke me up. Knocked things off the shelves. This one was scary!
  • Guatemala City - Shaking on top floor of hotel, everyone panicked
  • xela - about 3.30am awake in bed..felt start to shake lightly, woke wife,ran down stairs out to the street,we had a steong one a few days ago cracked falls chunks fell out!
  • San Andreas Iztapa - The earthquake lasted about 10 seconds. We didn't have any property damage but things were close to falling off the walls/shelves. Really intense shaking and rumbling.
  • Panajachel - Pretty good shaking. Brought everyone in the community to their doors.
  • Coban - It woke us up with shaking. No damage, but scary! It lasted about 30 seconds.
  • Santa Rosa department - You feel for minute long everything is shaking well, trough no sees damage.
  • Panajachel - I've never jumped out of my bed so fast! Many outside their doors.
  • San Juan La Laguna - Shaking last around 6 seconds. It woke me up out of my sleep. Other saw that water of the lake split in half!
  • san pedro la laguna - felt stronger than last week's quake here - dishes fell - i ran
  • Antigua - Lasted 30 seconds. Stood at door woke me up. No one pancaked.
  • Guatemala City - Whole house shook, some objects fell of shelves. Lasted approximately 6 seconds
  • Antigua - All of the light fixtures were swinging. Small crack in ceiling in bedroom.
  • GEOFON Near Coast Of Guatemala Jun 22 12:31 6.8 32 MAP I Felt It INFO




    Other earthquakes in the greater epicenter area

    Strongest earthquakes (since 1900) within a 150 km radius from this earthquake


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    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.
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