March 21, 2011

Orange Earthquake Alert in Ethiopia

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 9:16 pm

On 3/19/2011 8:08:11 PM UTC an earthquake of magnitude 5 and depth 14.9km has struck an very highly populated area in the Sidamo Province (population: 5 million) in Ethiopia. GDACS estimates the likelihood for need of international humanitarian intervention to be medium (Orange alert).

This earthquake can have a medium humanitarian impact since the affected region is very highly populated and has low resilience for natural disasters.

The nearest populated places are Giam Giam (14km), Senteriya (18km), Bursa (15km), Wendo (12km), Sisha (1km), Abosto (12km), Ladu (17km). It is a mountainous region with a maximum altitude of 3694 m.

This report was automatically updated by a computer on: 3/19/2011 8:35:06 PM UTC (26 minutes after the event)

Downloads: Word report, PDF report

Explanation of alert calculation: Show

The impact model combines magnitude (M), population within 100km (P) and vulnerability/resilience ECHO average score (V) using the formula:
alertscore = max(M-4.5,0) * log10(max(P / 80000,0))^ 0.5 * max(V,0.5) ^ 1.5 / 3
The weighted product of magnitude (5), population (8033726) and vulnerability (2.66) results in an alertscore of 1.02302083555229
Then alert is Red if alertscore>2, Orange if alertscore>1 and Green if alertscore<=1.

Google map Population map
poplegendPopulation Density near epicenter (people/km2). Image area: 6×4 decimal degrees (approx. 650x450km2).
population map

Earthquake epicentre: best estimate eq_logo previous estimates: eq_icon
Kaartgegevens ©2011 – gebruiksvoorwaarden
Earthquake Event
Geological map
geological map
Characteristics for this report
Information source World Data Centre for Seismology, Denver (NEIC)
Link to source event report (usc000275x)
Magnitude 5 M
Depth 14.9 km

Geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude): 6.6798, 38.4991
Ethiopia , Sidamo Province (population: 5082666).
Seismic region: Ethiopia.

The earthquake happened in Ethiopia , Sidamo Province (population: 5082666). . The nearest populated places are Giam Giam (14km), Senteriya (18km), Bursa (15km), Wendo (12km), Sisha (1km), Abosto (12km), Ladu (17km).

It is a mountainous region with a maximum altitude of 3694 m.
Time time 3/19/2011 8:08:11 PM (UTC, Universal Standard Time)
3/19/2011 10:42:11 PM (Estimated local solar time)
Sat, 3/19/2011 21:08 CET (Brussels, Paris, Rome)
Sat, 3/19/2011 15:08 EST (New York, Washington)
Sat, 3/19/2011 12:08 PST (San Francisco, Los Angeles)
Sun, 3/20/2011 04:08 AWST (Australian Western Standard Time)
Previous reports for this earthquake.
Earthquake report Tsunami report Event Date/Time Lat/Lon Magnitude Depth (km) Source Publication Date/Time Delay
105841 3/19/2011 8:08:11 PM UTC 6.6798, 38.4991 5 14.9 NEIC (usc000275x) 3/19/2011 8:35:06 PM UTC 26min
Earthquake Impact Details
Potentially affected People

The population in the area of this earthquake if 409 people/km². (Data source).

The earthquake occurred at 22h local time. At this time a day, more people are at home and therefore more vulnerable to collapsing residential buildings. During traffic hours, people can be affected by collapsing bridges and other road infrastructure.
Population Data
Radius (km) Population Density (people/km²)
1 129 129
2 1681 133
5 11525 146
10 63277 201
20 599816 477
50 3215369 409
100 8033726 255
200 19423040 154

The affected region has low level of urban area (0%) and a high level of cultivated area (34.4%). In urban areas more damage can be expected than in cultivated or natural areas. (Data source)
Radius (km) urban areas cultivated areas other
200 0% 34.48% 65.51%
100 0% 33.95% 66.04%
50 0% 27.11% 72.88%
10 0% 54.39% 45.6%
Resilience and Vulnerability

Resilience is the capacity of the population to cope with a hazard. Since much of investments in earthquake preparedness and available funds for quick response is related to household income, the GDP per capita can be used as a rough indicator of resilience.

Ethiopia has a GDP per capita of 112 PPP$ (Parity Purchasing Power Dollar, about 1 Euro) and is therefore part of the low level income countries. Therefore, the earthquake happened in an area of low resilience.

Based on the combination of 9 indicators, ECHO attributes Ethiopia a high vulnerability.
ECHO Intervention Priority Ranking for Ethiopia
Overall situation
Human Development hdi
Human Poverty hpi
Exposure to Major Disasters
Natural Disasters natdis
Conflicts conflicts
Humanitarian effects of population movement
Refugees and IDPs refugees
Health of children under five
Undernourishment food
Mortality rates under5
Other vulnerability factors
Access to health care phis
Prevalence of HIV, TBC and malaria htm
Gender-specific Human Development gdi
Gini Index gini
Source ECHO
Key: bad Bad – medium Medium – good Good – nodata No data

Both conditions for survival and conditions for delivering aid strongly depend on the current weather and temperature. The following graphs show the current and forecast weather.

Current weather conditions and forecasts at earthquake location (lat: 6.6798 – long: 38.4991) (Data source).

Temperature chart currently not available. Try to refresh page.
Precipitation chart currently not available. Try to refresh page.
Cloud cover chart currently not available. Try to refresh page.

More detailed observations at closest weather station (Awasa): WeatherByWeb – NOAA
Probability of Secondary effects

slopelevel Landslides: The maximum slope in the area of the earthquake is 32.826% and the maximum altitude is 3694 m. Since this is a medium slope, the risk of earthquake induced landslides is medium. Note, however, that the slope data is not reliable on a local scale, while landslides depend very much on local topography, soil and meteorological conditions. More…
Critical infrastructure

The following critical infrastructure is nearby and could be affected by the earthquake:

* nuclevel Nuclear power plants: There are no nuclear facilities nearby the epicenter.
* damlevel Hydrodams: There are no hydrodam facilities nearby the epicenter.

The distance to nuclear installations is evaluated based on a 1999 UN dataset containing the location of nuclear plants in the world. If plants are near and the earthquake magnitude is above 6.5, the alert is set to orange. Note that the location of plants is approximate with errors of up to 100km.
Getting there and away

The nearest civilian airport (Awasa) is at 63km from the epicenter. Other airports are: Shakiso (115km), Arba Minch (123km), Masslo (147km), Soddu (84km), Adaba (108km), Jimma (189km), Robe (176km), Waca (157km), Awasa (63km), Asela (158km)

Ports nearby are: [None]

While we try everything to ensure accuracy, this information is purely indicative and should not be used for any decision making without alternate sources of information. The JRC is not responsible for any damage or loss resulting from the use of the information presented on this website.


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