Nicaragua Earthquake Damages Homes, Injures 29

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 07:53 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A Nicaragua earthquake with a 6.1-magnitude shook the Central American nation's west coast Thursday damaging homes and injuring 23 people in the town of Nagarote – located about 30 miles northwest of the capital of Managua.

According to Health official Enrique Beteta, of the 23 people injured, primarily from falling walls, ceilings and other objects, three people were taken to a local hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries, The Associated Press reported.

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"One has trauma in an ankle, the other in a leg and a 16-year-old boy in his lower back after a portion of a wall fell on him," Beteta told popular radio station Radio Ya, the AP noted.


In addition to the structural damage and injuries, Thursday's Nicaragua earthquake also triggered landslides that blocked two highways south of the capital and knocked out power in some areas of the country. Soon after the earthquake, which occurred at 5:27 p.m. local time and originated 6 miles below the surface of the Earth, an aftershock with a 5.1-magnitude was felt about 20 miles to the south.

Earthquakes are fairly common along Nicaragua's western coast, as it sits at the boundary between two of Earth's tectonic plates, the Cocos plate and the Caribbean plate, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Since 1931 there have been eight sizable earthquakes in Nicaragua ranging in magnitude from 6.0 to 7.6.

The most recent significant one outside of Thursday's quake was that of a 7.1 magnitude quake that occurred in October 2004.

Every year there are several million earthquakes that occur around the world, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates on its website, yet many they say go undetected due to their occurrence in remote regions where there are few inhabitants.

On average, there are approximately 15 earthquakes each year with a magnitude between 7.0 and 7.9, and just one with a magnitude that exceeds 8.0, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates.

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