The Colombian capital, Bogota, experienced a strong earthquake on Thursday that triggered the activation of sirens and led to brief moments of panic on the streets.
However, there were no reported injuries or substantial material damage.
The Colombian Geological Survey (CGS) measured the earthquake’s magnitude at 6.1, while the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported it as 6.3. This seismic event occurred at 12:04 pm, originating from the town of El Calvario located in the central part of the country, approximately 40 kilometres southeast of Bogota. The initial quake was followed by a 5.9-magnitude aftershock, as conveyed by the agency through social media platforms.
During the tremors, buildings trembled and sirens blared, prompting thousands of residents to pour into the streets. Worried individuals clutched their cell phones, hastily calling their loved ones. Mayor Claudia Lopez urged calmness, caution, and preparedness against potential aftershocks through a social network post.
Reports indicated that the impact of the earthquake was relatively minor. The mayor confirmed instances of people being trapped in elevators and other minor events, with no serious incidents reported.
Social media users from cities near the epicentre, including Villavicencio, Bucaramanga, Tunja, and Ibague, reported feeling the quake’s effects.
Even the US ambassador to Colombia, Francisco Palmieri, was in the midst of a speech when the earthquake struck.
Although he paused briefly to acknowledge the situation, he continued speaking with a smile. The event did not necessitate the evacuation of the hotel.
Localized impacts were reported, including a landslide in Villavicencio and minor window damage in El Calvario. Central Colombia, known for its seismic activity and geological faults, experienced this tremor within its well-known fault lines.
The recent earthquake harkens back to the region’s history of seismic activity. In 2008, a 5.5 magnitude quake centred in El Calvario resulted in the unfortunate loss of 11 lives.