1907 Kingston earthquake

1907 Jamaica earthquake
PSM V70 D390 Map of the jamaica earthquake.png
1907 Kingston earthquake is located in Jamaica
1907 Kingston earthquake
UTC time1907-01-14 20:36:00
ISC eventn/a
USGS-ANSSn/a
Local dateJanuary 14, 1907 (1907-01-14)
Local time15:30
Magnitude6.5 Mw
Epicenter18°12′N 76°42′W / 18°12′N 76°42′W / 18.2; -76.7[1]
Areas affectedJamaica
Tsunamiyes
Casualties~1,000

The 1907 Kingston earthquake which shook the capital of the island of Jamaica with a magnitude of 6.5 on the moment magnitude scale on Monday January 14, at about 3:30 p.m. local time (20:36 UTC), is described by the United States Geological Survey as one of the world's deadliest earthquakes recorded in history.[2] Every building in Kingston was damaged by the earthquake and subsequent fires, which lasted for three hours before any efforts could be made to check them, culminated in the death of about 1,000 people, and caused approximately $30 million in material damage ($823.18 million in 2019).[1] Shortly after, a tsunami was reported on the north coast of Jamaica, with a maximum wave height of about 2 m (6–8 ft).[2]

Tectonic setting

Jamaica lies within a complex zone of faulting that forms the boundary between the Gonâve Microplate and the Caribbean Plate. To the east of the island the main fault is the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden fault zone while to the west the main structure is the Walton fault zone, both major sinistral (left lateral) strike-slip faults. The transfer of plate boundary displacement between these major fault zones takes place on a series of NW-SE trending faults, such as the Wagwater Belt. The overall tectonic setting is one of transpression at this restraining bend in the plate boundary.[3]