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The El Salvador earthquakes of January and February 2001 : context, characteristics and implications for seismic risk

Bommer, J J; Bénito, B; Ciudad-Real, M; Lemoine, A; López Menjívar, M; Madariaga, R; Mankelow, J M; Méndez de Hasbun, P; Murphy, W; Nieto-Lovo, M; Rodríguez Pineda, C; Rosa, H.. 2002 The El Salvador earthquakes of January and February 2001 : context, characteristics and implications for seismic risk. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 22 (5). 389-418. 10.1016/S0267-7261(02)00024-6

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Abstract/Summary

The small Central American republic of El Salvador has experienced, on average, one destructive earthquake per decade during the last hundred years. The latest events occurred on 13 January and 13 February 2001, with magnitudes Mw 7.7 and 6.6, respectively. The two events, which were of different tectonic origin, follow the patterns of the seismicity of the region although neither event has a known precedent in the earthquake catalogue in terms of size and location. The earthquakes caused damage to thousands of traditionally built houses and triggered hundreds of landslides, which were the main causes of fatalities. The earthquakes have clearly demonstrated trends of increasing seismic risk in El Salvador due to rapid population expansion in areas of high shaking and landslide hazard, exacerbated by deforestation and uncontrolled urbanisation. The institutional mechanisms required for the control of land use and building practice are very weak and present a major obstacle to risk mitigation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0267-7261(02)00024-6
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
Additional Keywords: El Salvador, Earthquakes, Strong motion, Landslides, Seismic risk, Vulnerability
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 01 Aug 2008 15:10
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3741

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