1986 San Salvador earthquake

1986 San Salvador earthquake
1986 San Salvador earthquake is located in Central America
San Salvador
San Salvador
1986 San Salvador earthquake
UTC time 1986-10-10 17:49:26
ISC event 483349
Local date October 10, 1986 (1986-10-10)
Local time 11:49:26
Magnitude 5.7 Mw [1]
Depth 10 km (6.2 mi) [1]
Epicenter 13°45′N 89°14′W / 13.75°N 89.24°W / 13.75; -89.24Coordinates: 13°45′N 89°14′W / 13.75°N 89.24°W / 13.75; -89.24 [1]
Type Strike-slip [2]
Areas affected El Salvador
Max. intensity IX (Violent) [3]
Casualties 1,000–1,500 fatalities [2]
10,000–20,000 injuries [2]
Damage caused by the earthquake

The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred at 11:49:26 local time on October 10 with a moment magnitude of 5.7 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shock caused considerable damage to El Salvador's capital city of San Salvador and surrounding areas, including neighboring Honduras and Guatemala.[4]


The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred within the upper crust of the Caribbean Plate along the Central American volcanic chain. It was a result of left-lateral strike slip faulting perpendicular to the Central American volcanic chain.[5] The earthquake also caused landslides located in the San Salvador area.[6]

Damage and response

The earthquake caused between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and left 200,000 homeless.[4][5] Shallow shocks directly under San Salvador caused the destruction of multiple structures. San Salvador's children's hospital, a marketplace, many restaurants and buildings, and shanty towns were significantly damaged or destroyed.[6]

In response, then-President Jose Napoleon Duarte established the ambitious Earthquake Reconstruction Committee tasked not only with rebuilding but also with modernizing El Salvador's capital. To lead the committee, Duarte tapped noted international urban planner and architect Jesús Permuy, who Duarte also asked to remain for another year to train El Salvadorian officials on modern urban planning methods and principles following the conclusion of the Reconstruction Committee.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b c ISC (19 January 2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre
  2. ^ a b c USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey
  3. ^ Bertero, V. V. (February 4, 1988). "Evolving Earthquake Hazard Mitigation Practices : Implications from Recent Chile, Mexico, and El Salvador Earthquakes, 1988 Annual Meeting (EERI)". The San Salvador earthquake of October 19, 1986. Mesa, Arizona: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  4. ^ "Significant earthquakes in 1986". Archived from the original on 2009-02-27.
  5. ^ White, Randall A.; Harlow, David H.; Alvarez, Salvador (1987-08-01). "The San Salvador Earthquake of October 10, 1986—Seismological Aspects and Other Recent Local Seismicity". Earthquake Spectra. 3 (3): 419–434. doi:10.1193/1.1585439. ISSN 8755-2930.
  6. ^ a b "El Salvador Earthquake October 1986". International Rescue Corps. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  7. ^ Olivera, Daisy (2018-09-27). "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen rinde homenaje al arquitecto y líder cubano, Jesús Permuy". El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-07-01.

Further reading

  • David H. Harlow, Randall A. White, Michael J. Rymer, Salvador Alvarez G.; The San Salvador earthquake of 10 October 1986 and its historical context. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America ; 83 (4): 1143–1154.

External links