Early seismic movement awakens citizens Ancash coast

A perceptible tremor of 4.6 on the Richter scale awoke many people on the Ancash shore living in Huarmey, Casma, Culebras, Samanco and Chimbote this morning. The tremor took place at 61 km southeast of the Huarmey coast at a depth of 36 km. It was the first tremor in 2019 that was felt by the Ancash population. Within only one week in the New Year, the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP)  has already reported nine seismic movements in Peruvian territory.

Prior to the latest tremor, it was also the Huarmey coast that felt the last seismic movement on the 30th of December. This 4.4 tremor appeared to be the last one registered in 2018 in Peru. This year, other tremors were reported in Nueva Cajamarca (4.9), Pastaza – Alto Amazonas (4.7), Esperanza – Ucayali (7.0), Camana (3.9), Ocuviri (5.0), Huasicancha near Huancayo (4.0), Sullana (4.0) and 202 km south of the southern city of Tacna (4.9).

Since 2005, the number of tremors in Peru has been increased significantly. In 2005 at least 156 tremors were reported. Ten years later the number of tremors increased to 277 and 2016 was the first time that Peru suffered more than one tremor per day (413). 2017 saw a small decline in tremors as only 397 were registered. The increase in yearly tremors reported in recent years is due to the growth in seismic stations installed on Peruvian territory, which allows the IGP to report quakes of magnitudes greater than 3.0. The reported (earth)quakes are those that have been perceived by the local population.

The Geophysical Institute of Peru has its origin in the Magnetic Observatory of Huancayo, built by the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) in 1923. The observatory was designed and built by J.A. Fleming, then director of the DTM-CIW. The first scientific activities of the observatory were measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field, terrestrial electric currents, ionosphere, cosmic rays, atmospheric electricity and solar physics. The installation of high sensitivity seismometers in 1932 initiated the registration and monitoring activities of local, regional and global seismic activity. In 1946 the Carnegie Institution of Washington donated to the Peruvian government the Magnetic Observatory of Huancayo, which is called the Geophysical Institute of Huancayo, and engineer Alberto Giesecke was designated as its first director. Finally, in 1962 officially received its current name of Geophysical Institute of Peru.

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