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2009 September 12 20:06:24 UTC

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Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
Location10.720°N, 67.951°W
Depth10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances30 km (15 miles) NNE of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
50 km (30 miles) N of Valencia, Venezuela
110 km (70 miles) W of CARACAS, Venezuela
2115 km (1310 miles) SE of Miami, Florida
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 4.2 km (2.6 miles); depth fixed by location program
ParametersNST=327, Nph=327, Dmin=357.4 km, Rmss=1.23 sec, Gp= 18°,
M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=V
Event IDus2009llb2
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Earthquake Summary

Small globe showing earthquakeSmall map showing earthquake

Felt Reports

At least 18 people were injured and 17 buildings damaged north of Moron. Felt (VI) in parts of Carabobo; (V) at Baruta, Caracas, El Liman, Guarenas, La Victoria, Los Dos Caminos, Maiqueta, Maracay, Puerto Cabello, San Antonio de los Altos, and Valencia; (IV) at Barquisimeto, Cagua, Chacao, El Cafetal, El Hatillo, Guatire, Los Teques and Petare. Felt in much of northern and central Venezuela. Also felt (III) at Willemstad and (II) at Kralendijk, Netherlands Antilles. Also felt in Oranjestad, Aruba; Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Medellin and Santa Marta, Colombia; Antriol, Groot Piscadera, Hato, Montana Abou, Ronde Klip and Tera Kora, Netherlands Antilles.

Tectonic Summary

The September 12, 2009 earthquake offshore of Venezuela occurred at a shallow depth as a result of right-lateral strike-slip faulting. The tectonics of this area are dominated by the eastward motion of the Caribbean plate with respect to the South American plate, at a rate of approximately 20mm/yr. Major fault systems in the region include the Boconó fault further to the southwest, and the San Sebastián and El Pilar faults which run from west to east near the earthquake epicenter; these faults accommodate the majority of the motion between the two plates. The location of today’s event indicates it may have occurred on the San Sebastián or El Pilar faults, though further analysis of the earthquake is needed.
The region surrounding the September 12th event is known to be seismically active, and has hosted strong earthquakes in the past; previous damaging earthquakes include an M6.5 quake in July 1967 that caused approximately 240 fatalities, and an M5.4 quake in May 1989 which made more than 2000 people homeless in the Tucacas area.

Earthquake Information for South America