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The 1982 El Salvador earthquake occurred southeast of San Salvador on 19 June at 00:21 local time (06:21 UTC). This undersea earthquake struck offshore in the Pacific Ocean and had a surface wave magnitude of 7.2 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). Occurring adjacent to a subduction zone at the Middle America Trench, this normal-slip shock left at least 16 and as many as 43 people dead, and many injured, and also inflicted $5 million in damage.

1982 El Salvador earthquake
1982 El Salvador earthquake is located in Central America
Guatemala City
Guatemala City
San José
San José
1982 El Salvador earthquake
UTC time1982-06-19 06:21:58
ISC event597450
Local date19 June 1982 (1982-06-19)
Local time00:21:58
Duration25 s (shaking felt)[1]
MagnitudeMs 7.2
Depth82 km (51 mi)
Epicenter13°19′N 89°20′W / 13.31°N 89.34°W / 13.31; -89.34Coordinates: 13°19′N 89°20′W / 13.31°N 89.34°W / 13.31; -89.34
Areas affectedEl Salvador
Total damage$5 million[3]
Max. intensityVII (Very strong)[3]
Casualties16–43 dead[2]


Tectonic settingEdit

Near the Salvadorian coast, the Cocos Plate is subducting beneath the Caribbean Plate at the Middle America Trench. This earthquake was an intra-slab, normal-slip subduction earthquake in the subducting plate. The subduction zone and a local system of faults along the volcanic chain are two major sources of the earthquakes in El Salvador.[5]


The mechanism of this earthquake had many similarities with the El Salvador earthquake of 13 January 2001.[6]


The intensity in San Salvador reached VII (Very strong).[7][8] The most affected cities are San Salvador, Ahuachapán, Concepción de Ataco, Comasagua, San Miguel, San Pedro Nonualco, and San Juan Tepezontes.[9] This earthquake could be felt in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, with intensities V (Moderate) in Guatemala City, Guatemala, IV (Light) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, V in Managua, Nicaragua, and III (Weak) in San José, Costa Rica.[10][11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ White, R. A.; Ligorría, J. P.; Cifuentes, I. L. (2004), "Seismic history of the Middle America subduction zone along el Salvador, Guatemala, and Chiapas, Mexico: 1526–2000", Special Paper 375: Natural Hazards in el Salvador, 375, pp. 379–396, doi:10.1130/0-8137-2375-2.379, ISBN 978-0-8137-2375-4
  2. ^ a b USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey
  3. ^ a b National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) (1972), Significant Earthquake Database (Data Set), National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K
  4. ^ López, M.; Bommer, J.; Méndez, P. (2004). The Seismic Performance of Bahareque Dwellings in El Salvador (PDF). 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, August 1–6, 2004.
  5. ^ Martínez-Díaz, J. J.; Álvarez-Gómez, J. A.; Benito, B.; Hernández, D. (2004), "Triggering of destructive earthquakes in el Salvador" (PDF), Geology, 32 (1): 65–68, Bibcode:2004Geo....32...65M, doi:10.1130/G20089.1
  6. ^ Bommer, J. J.; Benito, M. B.; Ciudad-Real, M.; Lemoine, A.; López-Menjı́Var, M. A.; Madariaga, R.; Mankelow, J.; Méndez De Hasbun, P.; Murphy, W.; Nieto-Lovo, M.; Rodrı́Guez-Pineda, C. E.; Rosa, H. (2002), "The el Salvador earthquakes of January and February 2001: Context, characteristics and implications for seismic risk" (PDF), Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 22 (5): 389–418, doi:10.1016/S0267-7261(02)00024-6
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ isosistas. (10 October 1986). Retrieved on 25 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Significant Earthquakes of the World. (5 January 2010). Retrieved on 25 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit