Ecuador is located in an active seismic zone and experiences frequent earthquakes. The country is situated on the boundary of the Nazca and South American tectonic plates, which causes seismic activity. In addition to earthquakes, Ecuador is also at risk for volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
The most vulnerable regions to earthquakes in Ecuaodr
The most vulnerable regions to earthquakes in Ecuador are the Andean Mountain range, the coastal region, and the Galapagos Islands. The Andean region is particularly at risk due to the high seismic activity caused by the movement of the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The coastal region is also at risk due to its proximity to the subduction zone where the oceanic Nazca plate is being subducted beneath the continental South American plate. The Galapagos Islands are also at risk due to their location on the boundary of the Nazca and Cocos tectonic plates.
The most vulnerable cities to earthquakes in Ecuador are Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. Quito is located in the Andean mountain range, which is an active seismic zone, and is also close to several active volcanoes. Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and is located in the coastal region, which is also at risk for seismic activity. Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Andean mountain range and is also at risk for earthquakes. Additionally, Ibarra, Ambato, and Latacunga are also considered as vulnerable cities due to their location in the Andean region.
Impact of recent earthquake in Ecuador
Ecuador has a history of significant earthquake losses, with several large earthquakes causing significant damage and loss of life in recent years. In April 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the coast of Ecuador, killing over 650 people and injuring thousands more. The earthquake caused widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, and many residents were left homeless. The damage was estimated to be around $3 billion. On March 2016, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the Manabí province in the northwest of the country, killing at least 6 people, injuring over 150 and causing considerable damage to buildings and infrastructure. The damage was estimated to be around $1.5 billion. Additionally, several smaller earthquakes have caused damage in different regions of the country throughout the years, affecting mostly poor and vulnerable communities. The country has a high level of seismic hazard and is considered one of the most earthquake-prone countries in South America.
Ecuador is at a high risk of major earthquakes and, despite efforts to mitigate the damage, the country needs to implement short-term earthquake models to transfer financial risk in order to accelerate recovery after a seismic event.