Saturday, 14 June 2014

Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake in Esculinta Department, southern Guatemala.

The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake at a depth of 74.2 km in the east of Esculinta Department in southern Guatemala, slightly after 6.25 am local time (slightly after 12.25 pm GMT) on Friday 13 June 2014. This event was felt across much of southern Guatemala, though there are no reports of any damage or casualties, which is roughly what would be expected from an Earthquake of this size at this depth; the quake is big enough to be felt over a wide area, but most of its energy has dissipated before the shock-waves reach the surface.

The approximate location of the 13 June 2014 Esculinta Earthquake. Google Maps.

Guatemala is located on the southern part of the Caribbean Plate, close to its boundary with the Cocos Plate, which underlies part of the east Pacific. The Cocos Plate is being pushed northwards by expansion of the crust along the East Pacific Rise, and is subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate along the Middle American Trench, which runs parallel to the south coast of Guatemala and neighboring countries, passing under Central America as it sinks into the Earth's interior. This is not a smooth process, the plates tend to stick together, breaking apart again once the pressure from the northward movement of the Cocos Plate builds up to much, triggering Earthquakes. 

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