A devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Bolivia and experts are warning about a strong possibility of numerous fatalities and heavy property damage.
A USGS scientists said the earthquake struck 10.40am local time and was centered 205 miles southeast of the town of Tarija.
Preliminary Earthquake Report:
Date-Time • 2 Apr 2018 13:40:35 UTC
• 2 Apr 2018 09:40:35 near epicenter
Location 20.667S 63.016W
Depth 557 km
Distances • 205 km (127 miles) ENE (62 degrees) of Tarija, Bolivia
• 293 km (182 miles) SE (127 degrees) of Sucre, Bolivia
• 295 km (183 miles) WNW (301 degrees) of Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay
• 748 km (465 miles) NW (312 degrees) of ASUNCION, Paraguay
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 9.7 km; Vertical 5.9 km
Parameters Nph = 105; Dmin = 590.4 km; Rmss = 0.83 seconds; Gp = 18°
The quake was not felt in Bolivia’s capital of La Paz, but it caused people to evacuate office buildings that swayed as far away as Sao Paulo, Brazil, some 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) from Tarija.
Regional authorities say they had yet to receive reports of any injuries or damage.
The US Geological Survey estimated a 34 per cent chance of damage and fatalities.
Its website said: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist.
“The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and rubble/field stone masonry construction.”