120px|A hospital destroyed by the 1949 Ambato earthquake
The 1949 Ambato earthquake was the largest earthquake in the Western
Hemisphere in over a decade. On August 5, 1949, it struck Ecuador's
Tungurahua Province southeast of its capital, Ambato, and killed
5,050 people. Measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, it originated from a
hypocenter 40 km (25 mi) beneath the surface. The earthquake initially
followed an intersection of several northwest–southeast-trending faults
in the Inter-Andean Valley, which were created by the subduction of the
Carnegie Ridge. Strata of rock cracked as the earthquake ruptured the
faults, sending out powerful shockwaves. The nearby villages of Guano,
Patate, Pelileo, and Pillaro were destroyed, and the city of Ambato
suffered heavy damage. The earthquake flattened entire buildings, and
subsequent landslides caused damage throughout the Tungurahua,
Chimborazo, and Cotopaxi Provinces. It disrupted water mains and
communication lines and opened a fissure into which the small town of
Libertad sank. Moderate shaking from the event extended as far away as
Quito and Guayaquil. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The Great Fire of Rome started among the shops around the Circus
Maximus, eventually destroying three of fourteen Roman districts and
severely damaging seven others.
The English warship Mary Rose foundered and sank just outside
Portsmouth during the Battle of the Solent.
Lady Jane Grey was replaced by Mary I as Queen of England after
holding that title for just nine days.
World War I: Australian forces engaged the Germans at the Battle of
Fromelles in France, described as "the worst 24 hours in Australia's
entire history" since 5,533 Australian soldiers were eventually killed,
wounded or taken prisoner in the failed operation.
In a private meeting with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, French Prime
Minister François Mitterrand revealed the existence of the Farewell
Dossier, a collection of documents showing that the Soviets had been
stealing American technological research and development.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
That can decay; capable of rotting
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I should like to be famous and unknown.
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