1965 San Salvador earthquake

1965 San Salvador earthquake
1965 San Salvador earthquake is located in El Salvador
San Salvador
San Salvador
1965 San Salvador earthquake
UTC time1965-05-03 10:01:38
ISC event856602
Local dateMay 3, 1965 (1965-05-03)
Local time04:01 CST
Magnitude5.9 Mw[1]
Depth15.0 km (9.3 mi)
Epicenter13°40′59″N 89°04′12″W / 13.683°N 89.070°W / 13.683; -89.070Coordinates: 13°40′59″N 89°04′12″W / 13.683°N 89.070°W / 13.683; -89.070
Areas affectedEl Salvador
Max. intensityVIII (Severe)
Casualties125 dead, 500 injured

The 1965 San Salvador earthquake occurred at 04:01 in the morning on May 3, 1965. It had a moment magnitude of 5.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). The shock caused severe damage to El Salvador's capital city, San Salvador. The town of Ilopango, Soyapango, and Delgado was also hard hit. The earthquake was the most destructive to affect the city prior to the 1986 earthquake.[2]

Tectonic setting

El Salvador lies above the convergent boundary where oceanic crust of the Cocos Plate is being subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate at rate of about 72 mm per year along the Middle America Trench. This boundary is associated with earthquakes resulting from movement on the plate interface itself, such as the Mw  7.7 1992 Nicaragua earthquake, and from faulting within both the overriding Caribbean Plate and the subducting Cocos Plate, such as the 1982 El Salvador earthquake.[3][4]

Damage and casualties

The earthquake left 125 people dead across the San Salvador metropolitan area. A total of 53 million colones in damages was inflicted. Some damage was so serious that the demolition of the Central Penitentiary and the Ilopango Airport was necessary. Other public and private structures such as the Isidro Menéndez Judicial Center and the Women's Prison were partially damaged. Eventually, it was reported that some buildings only underwent remodeling works, such is the case of the Rubén Darío Building, whose walls were crossed by large cracks and fissures.[citation needed]

The shaking was quick and violent, and many people did not have time to leave their homes. Most buildings in the capital were built out of adobe, which lead to many deaths and hundreds of injuries.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "M 5.9 - 4 km ESE of Ilopango, El Salvador". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  2. ^ "Imágenes del mortal terremoto de 1965 que sacudió toda el área metropolitana de San Salvador". elsalvador.com (in Spanish). 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  3. ^ ANSS. "El Salvador 2001: M 7.7 – offshore El Salvador". Comprehensive Catalog. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  4. ^ Bommer, J. J.; Benito, M. B.; Ciudad-Real, M.; Lemoine, A.; López-Menjívar, M. A.; Madariaga, R.; Mankelow, J.; Méndez De Hasbun, P.; Murphy, W.; Nieto-Lovo, M.; Rodríguez-Pineda, C. E.; Rosa, H. (2002), "The El Salvador earthquakes of January and February 2001: Context, characteristics and implications for seismic risk" (PDF), Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 22 (5): 389–418, doi:10.1016/S0267-7261(02)00024-6, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-08
  5. ^ "Se cumplen 54 años del terremoto que destruyó gran parte de San Salvador". elsavador.com (in Spanish). 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1965_San_Salvador_earthquake&oldid=1080596202"