Wednesday, November 7, 2012

M7.4 Quake Strikes off Pacific Shore of Guatemala

A magnitude 7.4 quake struck at 4:35 PM GMT, 24 km south of Champerico, in the sea off the Pacific coast of Guatemala.  The quake was felt strongly over a wide area.  People fled swaying buildings in Guatemala City and as far away as Mexico City.

The area where this quake occurred is seismically very active.  This is a subduction zone where the Cocos Plate is subducting under the North American Plate at the rate of about 80mm per year.  Significant quakes are not unusual in this area.

It is still too soon for reliable damage reports to have come in but initial reports indicate that damage is moderate for a quake of this magnitude.

Below is a shake map for this quake.