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1944 San Juan earthquake information


1944 San Juan earthquake
1944 San Juan earthquake is located in Argentina
1944 San Juan earthquake
UTC time1944-01-15 23:49:32
ISC event899270
USGS-ANSSComCat
Local dateJanuary 15, 1944 (1944-01-15)
Local time08:52 pm
Magnitude7.0 Mw[1]
Epicenter31°22′19″S 68°26′10″W / 31.372°S 68.436°W / -31.372; -68.436
FaultLa Laya fault[1]
Typereverse
Areas affectedArgentina, San Juan
Max. intensityMMI IX (Violent)
Casualties10,000 killed
Wreckage in downtown San Juan in the wake of the 1944 quake

The 1944 San Juan earthquake took place in the province of San Juan, in the center-west area of Argentina, a region highly prone to seismic events. This moderate to strong earthquake (estimated moment magnitudes range from 6.7 to 7.8) destroyed a large part of San Juan, the provincial capital, and killed 10,000 of its inhabitants, 10 percent of its population at the time.[2] One third of the province population became homeless. It is acknowledged as the worst natural disaster in Argentine history.

The earthquake occurred at 8:52 pm on 15 January 1944 and had its epicenter located 30 km north of the provincial capital, near La Laja in Albardón Department. Some 90% of the buildings in the city were destroyed and those left standing suffered such damage that in most cases they had to be demolished. It is considered that the reason for such widespread destruction was the low quality of construction, rather than just the power of the earthquake.

In 1944, many of San Juan's houses were made of adobe and the reconstruction programme prompted the creation of a building code that took into account contemporary knowledge of earthquakes and their effect on buildings. Stronger bricks were used, concrete single-story houses were erected, and sidewalks and streets were made wider.

  1. ^ a b Alvarado, P.; Beck, S. (2006). "Source characterization of the San Juan (Argentina) crustal earthquakes of 15 January 1944 (Mw 7.0) and 11 June 1952 (Mw 6.8)". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 243 (3–4): 615–631. Bibcode:2006E&PSL.243..615A. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.01.015.
  2. ^ Listado de terremotos históricos Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)

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