A 6,4-degree earthquake eight kilometers deep was felt strong in the Argentine province of San Juan (west, border with Chile), where it had an epicenter, but also in neighboring Mendoza and to a lesser extent in many other areas of the country, official sources reported early this Tuesday, EFE reported.
"So far there are no fatalities, only two children with moderate trauma and an older adult with a serious trauma who is being transferred to the nosocomio (hospital)," said the governor of San Juan, Sergio Uñac, at a press conference in which revealed that there are four people evacuated and detailed the most prominent material damage left by the earthquake in various parts of the province.
According to the National Institute for Seismic Prevention, the earthquake occurred at 23.46:2.46 p.m. local time (XNUMX GMT on Thursday), near the San Juan town of Media Agua, south of the provincial capital.
Subsequently, in the following two hours, seven aftershocks of less intensity were recorded, between 3,2 and 4,9 degrees according to the Richter scale and between 8 and 15 kilometers deep.
After the strongest earthquake, citizens did not take long to report through the media and social networks power outages, damage to houses and shops and cracks in a road.
Miguel Castro, from the Mendoza seismological center, told the TN channel that "the magnitude being so great and the depth so small" is that it has been perceived in other areas of the country, since "seismic waves travel many kilometers, more when it comes to a magnitude of this magnitude ”.
The expert added that the earthquake reminded him of the one of November 23, 1977 in the town of Caucete, which was 7,4 magnitude, with 65 dead and more than 300 injured.
“But this time the epicenter was located about 47 kilometers southwest of the city of San Juan, where there are a series of active faults that belong to the Pie de Palo valley. And a fault that rises to the surface in the San Juan River is also very close, ”he said.
Iaron Kolker, a resident of downtown San Juan, the provincial capital, told Efe that the first earthquake was "brief", lasting no more than 10 or 15 seconds, but "everything moved."
In his opinion, it was only "a big scare", since he was able to speak with acquaintances through telephone groups "and nobody suffered losses".
In addition, users of social networks in San Juan and other parts of the country, such as Córdoba (center) and even in Buenos Aires, more than 1.000 kilometers from the epicenter, said they had felt the earthquake, and some uploaded videos showing episodes of the tremor.
"The movement was very strong, here my house moved all over, it seemed that it was on top of some rollers," said Marcelo Ruiz, a Mendoza neighbor.
San Juan is one of the areas with the highest seismic incidence in Argentina, and it is there where the worst earthquake ever experienced in the country was recorded in 1944, which caused the death of some 10.000 people.
That is why it has buildings prepared to withstand this type of natural event.