1943 Ovalle earthquake

The Coquimbo Region of Chile was affected by a major earthquake on 6 April 1943 at 12:07 local time (16:07 UTC). It had a magnitude of between 7.9 and 8.2 on the moment magnitude scale.[5] It triggered a minor tsunami that caused local damage along the coast. A total of 11 people were killed, including a group of five miners.[1]

1943 Ovalle earthquake
1943 Ovalle earthquake is located in South America
1943 Ovalle earthquake
UTC time1943-04-06 16:07:17
ISC event899789
Local date6 April 1943 (1943-04-06)
Local time12:07[1]
Duration~25 seconds[2]
Magnitude7.9–8.2 Mw
Depth35 km
Epicenter31°25′55″S 71°28′30″W / 31.432°S 71.475°W / -31.432; -71.475Coordinates: 31°25′55″S 71°28′30″W / 31.432°S 71.475°W / -31.432; -71.475[3]
Areas affectedChile, Coquimbo Region
Max. intensityMSK-64 VIII (Damaging) [4]
Casualties11 dead[1]

Tectonic settingEdit

Central Chile lies above the destructive plate boundary where the Nazca Plate subducts beneath the South American Plate. There have been many large earthquakes caused by rupture along the plate interface. Illapel has been struck by major earthquakes in 1730, 1880, 1943 and 2015.[6]


The earthquake caused major damage to Ovalle, Illapel, Salamanca and Combarbala.[1] At the La Cocinera copper mine near Ovalle, a tailings dam collapsed, killing five miners.


  1. ^ a b c d National Centers for Environmental Information. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  2. ^ Tilmann F.; Zhang Y.; Moreno M.; Saul J.; Eckelmann F.; Palo M.; Babeyko A.; Chen K.; Baez J.C.; Schurr B.; Wang R.; Dahm T. (2015). "The 2015 Illapel earthquake, central Chile: A type case for a characteristic earthquake?" (PDF). Geophysical Research Letters. 43 (2): 574–583. doi:10.1002/2015GL066963.
  3. ^ ANSS. "Chile 1943: M 8.1 - Coquimbo, Chile". Comprehensive Catalog. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  4. ^ José Fernández; César Pastén; Sergio Ruiz; Felipe Leyton (2018). "Damage assessment of the 2015 Mw 8.3 Illapel earthquake in the North‑Central Chile". Natural Hazards. Springer: 269–283. doi:10.1007/s11069-018-3541-3.
  5. ^ Beck S.; Barrientos S.; Kausel E.; Reyes M. (1998). "Source characteristics of historic earthquakes along the central Chile subduction zone". Journal of South American Earth Sciences. 11 (2): 115–129. doi:10.1016/S0895-9811(98)00005-4.
  6. ^ Ruiz S.; Madariaga R. (2018). "Historical and recent large megathrust earthquakes in Chile". Tectonophysics. 733: 37–56. Bibcode:2018Tectp.733...37R. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2018.01.015.