On August 15 at 6:40 PM a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of central Peru. The hypocentral depth was 40 km. The earthquake was located 180 km southeast of the capital city of Lima, near the cities of Ica and Pisco. At least 500 people were killed, and over 1500 were injured. Tens of thousands of buildings were ruined and up to one-hundred thousand people were left homeless with most of the damage occurring in rural areas. In the two week period following the earthquake, at least 16 aftershocks hit Peru, with magnitudes ranging from 4.5 to 6.3. The earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The two plates are converging at a rate of 77 millimeters per year, and the earthquake was caused by the downward and eastward movement of the Nazca plate under the South American plate. Since Peru is located at the boundary of these plates, earthquakes are quite common in this area, the last being an M=8.1 near the city of Arequipa in southern Peru in 2001. Prior to this event, the deadliest earthquake to hit Peru was in 1970 when an earthquake in the Peruvian Andes triggered landslides that buried the town of Yungay and killed more than 66,000 people. Since the epicenter of the recent earthquake was in the Pacific Ocean, it was feared that a major tsunami would be generated, however only minor waves were recorded along the Peruvian coast.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 7230 Seismicity and tectonics (1207;
- 7294 Seismic instruments and networks (0935;