(posted April 10, 6:30 pm/ updated 1:30 am) — President Daniel Ortega declared a “red alert” following a powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake along the same fault line that caused the 1972 quake that leveled Managua.
At least 1 person is dead (Fátima Reyes, heart attack), 17 homes totally destroyed, more than 1,000 homes damaged, and 33 people seriously injured, according to preliminary reports by the government and media. School has been canceled on Friday in Managua and Leon.
“Red alert” means that Nicaraguans should remain on high alert.
The quake occurred at 5:27 pm and lasted 45 seconds. The epicenter was near La Paz Centro/Nagarote, near Lake Managua, at a depth of 10 KM. Since then there have been more than 350 aftershocks, including six significant ones registering magnitudes between 3.5 and 5.0, with epicenters near Monotombo Volcano, north of Managua.
Managua residents say the quake was one of the strongest they have felt in many years.
Ortega said the earthquake was a “sign from God” for Nicaraguans “to protect ourselves and act responsibly” and come together under a government that is “Christian, Socialist and in Solidarity.”
Preliminary reports indicate damages to dozens of homes in Managua and Leon, as well as problems with electricity outages in Managua. The San Rafael del Sur – Crucero Highway also suffered damages. There are no reports of deaths or injuries, but homes are being evacuated in northern Managua.
The earthquake was felt throughout the Pacific coast and well as in neighboring Costa Rica and El Salvador.