1986 San Salvador earthquake

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1986 San Salvador earthquake
1986 San Salvador earthquake is located in Central America
San Salvador
San Salvador
1986 San Salvador earthquake
UTC time
ISC event
Date October 10, 1986 (1986-10-10)
Origin time 17:49:26 UTC [1]
Local date
Local time
Magnitude 5.7 Mw [1]
Depth 10 km (6.2 mi) [1]
Epicenter 13°45′N 89°14′W / 13.75°N 89.24°W / 13.75; -89.24Coordinates: 13°45′N 89°14′W / 13.75°N 89.24°W / 13.75; -89.24 [1]
Type Strike-slip [2]
Areas affected El Salvador
Max. intensity IX (Violent) [3]
Casualties 1,000–1,500 fatalities [2]
10,000–20,000 injuries [2]
Damage caused by the earthquake

The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred at 11:49:26 local time on October 10 with a moment magnitude of 5.7 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shock caused considerable damage to El Salvador's capital city of San Salvador and surrounding areas, including neighboring Honduras and Guatemala.[4]


The 1986 San Salvador earthquake occurred within the upper crust of the Caribbean Plate along the Central American volcanic chain, it was a result of left-lateral strike slip faulting perpendicular to the Central American volcanic chain.[5] The earthquake also caused landslides located in the San Salvador area.[6]


The earthquake caused between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and left 200,000 homeless.[4][5] Shallow shocks directly under San Salvador caused the destruction of multiple structures. San Salvador's children's hospital, a marketplace, many restaurants and buildings, and shanty towns were significantly damaged or destroyed.[6]

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