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Strong M7.8 Seismic Event: Near Muisne, Ecuador


The event occurred in Ecuador, Province of Esmeraldas (population 336,795) . The nearby places are 27.0 km (16.8 mi) SSE of Muisne, 52.0 km (32.3 mi) W of Rosa Zarate, 68.0 km (42.3 mi) SSW of Propicia, 111.0 km (69.0 mi) NW of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, 170.0 km (105.6 mi) WNW of Quito, Ecuador. The maximum altitude nearby is 676m .

Event Map: M7.8 - 27km SSE of Muisne, Ecuador

Event Map: M7.8 – 27km SSE of Muisne, Ecuador on 2016-04-16 at 23:58:37 (UTC). This is a product of the GEOFON Extended Virtual Network (GEVN) and credit belongs to all involved institutions.

Mw Beach BallNatural Hazard – Seismic Event 

South America – Ecuador | Esmeraldas Province, Muisne
Location: 27km SSE of Muisne, Ecuador
Magnitude: 7.8
Time:  2016-04-16 23:58:37 (UTC)
Epicenter: 0°22’15.6″N 79°56’24.0″W
Depth: 19.2 km (11.9 mi) Shallow
Area affected by light damage (estimated radius): 129 km (MMI VI).
Population affected: 685,496 people within 100km

USGS Interactive map

USGS ShakeMap

MWW7.8 Near Coast Of Ecuador

IRIS Interactive Earthquake Browser

M7.8 earthquake near Muisne, Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Recent Earthquakes Near Muisne, Esmeraldas, Ecuador


Tsunami Threat Message Issued




USGS Estimated Population Exposure to Earthquake Shaking
165 km NW of Quito, Ecuador / pop: 1,399,814 / local time: 18:58:36.6 2016-04-16
30 km SE of Muisne, Ecuador / pop: 13,393 / local time: 18:58:36.6 2016-04-16

Tectonic Summary (USGS)

The April 16, 2016 M 7.8 earthquake, offshore of the west coast of northern Ecuador, occurred as the result of shallow thrust faulting on or near the plate boundary between the Nazca and Pacific plates. At the location of the earthquake, the Nazca plate subducts eastward beneath the South America plate at a velocity of 61 mm/yr. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with slip on the primary plate boundary interface, or megathrust, between these two major plates. Subduction along the Ecuador Trench to the west of Ecuador, and the Peru-Chile Trench further south, has led to uplift of the Andes mountain range and has produced some of the largest earthquakes in the world, including the largest earthquake on record, the 1960 M 9.5 earthquake in southern Chile.

While commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes of this size are more appropriately described as slip over a larger fault area. Events of the size of the April 16, 2016 earthquake are typically about 160×60 km in size (length x width).

Ecuador has a history of large subduction zone related earthquakes. Seven magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes have occurred within 250 km of this event since 1900. On May 14th, 1942, a M 7.8 earthquake occurred 43 km south of this April 16th, 2016 event. On January 31st, 1906 a M 8.3 earthquake (reportedly as large as M 8.8 in some sources) nucleated on the subduction zone interface 90 km to the northeast of the April 2016 event, and ruptured over a length of approximately 400-500 km, resulting in a damaging tsunami that caused in the region of 500-1,500 fatalities. The April 2016 earthquake is at the southern end of the approximate rupture area of the 1906 event. A shallow, upper crustal M 7.2 earthquake 240 km east of the April 2016 event on March 6th, 1987 resulted in approximately 1,000 fatalities.

 More information

Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
GeoForschungsZentrum (GEOFON) Potsdam, Germany
Earthquake Track
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC)


Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0218 UT

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