Nicaragua on Red Alert After Strong Earthquakes


Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega declared a red alert today due to the 6.2 earthquake that hit the country Thursday and another, a 6.6 magnitude Friday afternoon.

The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies recorded around 400 aftershocks, of which ten were between 4.0 and 5.0 magnitude, and 35 lower than 5.0, and added that damage from five to 10 degrees on the Mercalli scale was probable.

Yesterday’s earthquake was of the same magnitude as the 1972 earthquake, Ortega said, referring to the devastating earthquake of equal intensity that destroyed the Nicaraguan capital and left 10,000 people dead more than 40 years ago.

According to experts, the epicentre of the yesterday’s tremor was located very close to the towns of Nagarote, Mateare and Managua, bordering the Xolotlán or Managua lake, crossed by the same fault lines that caused the disaster of 1972.

The Friday afternoon quake  occurred at 2:29 pm, 11 KM south east of Nandaime. The Nicaraguan government is not reporting any new injuries or damages following the second major quake.

Ortega also ordered the evacuation of people still living around the rubble of an old building in the center of the capital, destroyed in 1972.

In that sense the mayor was working last night to evacuate and house 155 people from neighborhoods where there is a risk of collapsing buildings.

The earthquake, which has disrupted power supplies in this city and complicated communications, was also perceptible in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.

According to statistics, Nicaragua has suffered 35 major earthquakes in the past 486 years with the deadliest occurring in the capital in 1931 and 1972.