1902 Guatemala earthquake

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1902 Guatemala earthquake
1902 Guatemala earthquake is located in Central America
Guatemala City
Guatemala City
1902 Guatemala earthquake
UTC time 1902-04-19 02:23:00
ISC event 16957763
Local date April 18, 1902 (1902-04-19)
Local time 8:23 p.m.[1]
Duration 1–2 min [2]
Magnitude 7.5 Mw [3]
Depth 25 km (16 mi) [3]
Epicenter 14°N 91°W / 14°N 91°W / 14; -91 [3]
Areas affected Guatemala
Max. intensity VIII (Severe) [3]
Casualties 800–2,000 [1][3]

The 1902 Guatemala earthquake occurred on April 18 at 8:23 pm with a moment magnitude of 7.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). The rupture initiated at a depth of 25 km (16 mi) and the duration was 1 to 2 minutes.

The foreshock and aftershock sequence of this incident were major. Before the main shock, there were earthquakes being felt for three months and the tremors afterwards persisted for more than two weeks. A majority of churches in western Guatemala and eastern Chiapas were either severely devastated or abolished. The number of people killed was between 800 and 2,000.[1][2]

A strange occurrence of heavy rains, lightning, and thunder took place shortly before the earthquake. A few weeks before to the earthquake there was rain every afternoon for several days straight. Guatemala City was instantly flooded when massive gaps opened in the streets, water pipes ruptured, and huts along with cathedrals disintegrated and collapsed, which also buried hundreds. In just one hour, approximately 80,000 people were made homeless.[4]

As soon as the earthquake took place the sky cleared up and there was no rain for approximately three weeks. It has been said that the earthquake had something to do with an atmospheric disturbance connected with an electrical nature. The reason for this is because the early storms were electrical storms.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey 
  2. ^ a b White, Ligorria & Cifuentes 2004, p. 394
  3. ^ a b c d e White, Ligorria & Cifuentes 2004, p. 387
  4. ^ Davis, Lee (January 1, 2009). Natural Disasters (revised ed.). Facts on File Science Library: Infobase Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-4381-1878-9. 
  5. ^ Eisen, Gustav (1903). "The Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption in Guatemala in 1902". Bulletin of the American Geographical Society. 35: 329. JSTOR 197952. 


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