Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake Shakes Peru-Ecuador February 22, 2019- The earthquake struck at 5:17 a.m. local time. Its epicenter was 71 miles east-southeast of Palora, far inland and distant from Ecuador’s main highways that run along its mountain ranges, close to the country’s border with Peru.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake happened at 10:17 GMT 71 miles southeast of the town of Palora, in the Morona Santiago province and was felt in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, and the coastal city of Guayaquil, at a depth of 82 miles.
Light to moderate shaking was felt from the 7.5 trembler, but was followed by a 5. 5 magnitude aftershock, less than 25 minutes later, 260 miles away in western Peru. Last night a smaller 5.2 earthquake shook Peru, a warning to the bigger quake yet to come.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “the February 22, 2019, M 7.5 Ecuador earthquake occurred as the result of normal faulting at an intermediate depth, approximately 130 km beneath western Ecuador within the lithosphere of the subducted Nazca plate. Focal mechanism solutions indicate that rupture occurred on either a steeply dipping normal fault or a shallowly dipping normal fault, both striking in an approximate NW-SE direction. Slip on a fault of either orientation would accommodate the down-dip extension of the Nazca slab. At the location of the earthquake, the oceanic Nazca plate moves east relative to the South America plate at a rate of about 70 mm/yr, subducting at the Peru-Chile Trench west of the Ecuadoran coast and sinking into the mantle beneath South America. Like most earthquakes of Ecuador and western South America, this event was caused by strains generated by the ongoing subduction process.
The Peru-Chile Trench is an area that hosts large earthquakes quite regularly. Within 500 km of the February 22nd earthquake, there have been 15 other intermediate depth earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.5+ over the preceding century. Today’s earthquake is the largest of these; another M 7.5 event occurred about 400 km to the south-southeast beneath Peru in September 2005.
A M 7.4 earthquake in the Peru-Ecuador border region in July 1971, 80 km to the southwest of the February 22, 2019, event at a depth of 120 km, was previously the largest known intermediate depth earthquakes in Ecuador since 1900. A M 7.1 earthquake about 110 km to the north-northwest of the February 22, 2019 event in August 2010 caused minor damage across Ecuador, including in the coastal city of Guayaquil.” Guayaquil is roughly 52 miles southwest near the Montalvo epicenter of the earthquake.
Once again, the inland river cruise port on the Guayas River near Guayaquil, Ecuador had minor damage. Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city with more than 3 million people. In the past few years, the city has made an effort to improve its outlook by building the Malecon 2000, a walkway along the river with shops and restaurants. With new developments popping up, there are also lots of historic spots being preserved.
The Malecon 2000 is located along the west shore of the river for an approximate length of 1.5 miles. Several of the greatest historical monuments in the history of Guayaquil can be seen along its length, as well as museums, gardens, fountains, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, food courts, the first IMAX theater in South America, as well as boarding docks where several embarkations offer both daytime and nighttime tours up and down the Guayas River.
- Montalvo, Pastaza, Ecuador 16.6 km (10.3 mi) N Population: –
- Macas, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador 121.7 km (75.6 mi) W – Population: 23,687
- Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador 134.7 km (83.7 mi) NW – Population: 24,881
- Tena, Napo, Ecuador 159.6 km (99.2 mi) NNW – Population: 17,172
- Boca Suno, Orellana, Ecuador 166.5 km (103.4 mi) N Population: –
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Video: 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Peru Ecuador Border Today 22 Feb 2019