In the first discussion with the local authorities and our guide, we also talked about the effects and damages of the El Galpón earthquake. The damages in the village were obvious and I wrote about them in the last post. But for us seismologists it is also interesting to see if there are damages in the landscape. Typical effects would be: cracks in the ground, landslides, water and sand fountains, a new step in the topography or changes in the ground water table. We call this stuff co-seismic effects, because they occur during the shaking of an earthquake. Some of these (i.e. changes in the ground water table) can occur before an event as pre-seismic or after an event as post-seismic events (e.g. landslides).
Luckily, the people understood what we were pointing at and they showed us pictures of big cracks in the ground. They found them directly after the earthquake, so they could be our co-seismic effects. On our last day of fieldwork we had some time left to have a look on these cracks in the ground. Read More…
During our fieldwork we had the chance to visit the village El Galpón, which was mainly affected by the earthquake in October 2015. To give a visible expression how much shaking can be generated by a 5.7 Mw earthquake watch this video of a security camera in the city of Metán, approximately 50 km away from the epicenter.
El Galpón is quite small and only has some hundreds inhabitants. When we first arrived we thought the people removed the damages really quick or nothing really happened. When we got closer to the center we investigated the latter was true. The newer buildings in the outer part had no obvious damage. But in the central part most of the buildings were stabilized by wooden planks.