Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1970 Ancash earthquake

1970 Peru earthquake

DateMay 31, 1970 (1970-05-31)
Magnitude7.9 Mw,[1] 7.8 Richter scale
Depth30 kilometres (18.6 mi)
Epicenter locationnear Ancash Region
Countries or regions affected Peru
Casualties100,000 confirmed (75,000 dead and 25,000 missing) and 200,000 injured
The 1970 Ancash earthquake or Great Peruvian Earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred on May 31 of that year. Combined with a resultant landslide, it was the worst catastrophic natural disaster ever recorded in the history of Peru.

The earthquake affected the Peruvian regions of Ancash and La Libertad. The epicenter of the earthquake was located 35 km off the coast of Casma and Chimbote on the Pacific Ocean, where the Nazca Plate is being subducted by the South American Plate. It had a magnitude of 7.9 to 8.0 on the Richter scale and an intensity of up to 8 on the Mercalli scale. No significant tsunami was reported.

The earthquake struck on a Sunday afternoon at 15:23:31 local time (20:23:31 UTC) and lasted 45 seconds. The quake destabilized the northern wall of Mount HuascarĂ¡n, causing a rock, ice and snow avalanche and burying the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca. The avalanche started as a sliding mass of glacial ice and rock about 3,000 feet (910 m) wide and one mile (1.6 km) long. It advanced about 11 miles (18 km) to the village of Yungay at an average speed of 280 to 335 km per hour. The fast-moving mass picked up glacial deposits and by the time it reached Yungay, it is estimated to have consisted of about 80 million cubic meters (80,000,000 m³) of water, mud, and rocks.

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