(posted Oct 14, 6:15 am)— Nicaraguan emergency-response workers have activated contingency plans to evaluate damage and assess continued risk to lives and properties along the Pacific coast following a strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake and 17 aftershocks over the past 12 hours.
Public school classes have been suspended for the day and authorities are calling for calm after a shaky evening. So far there are no serious injuries or deaths reported. There are reports are minor damages to a dozen homes in the affected area.
The first quake occurred 67 Km off the coast of Chinandega, at a depth of 22 KM. A tsunami alert was activated and 74 communities, totaling 9,000 people, were evacuated. Wilfied Stauch, a scientist with the Nicaraguan Center for Territorial Studies, said last night’s quake was very similar in location and magnitude to 2012 earthquake that caused a tsunami with 5-meter high waves in El Salvador and northern Nicaragua.
Stauch added, however, that the possibility of a tsunami this time appears to be much lower. He said there are other factors besides magnitude that determine the destructiveness of an earthquake. Monday night’s quake, despite having a stronger magnitude than the quakes that ruined Managua in 1972 and Haiti in 2010, did not cause serious damage in either Nicaragua or El Salvador.