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EL SISMO DE 1629 EN CUMANÁ: APORTES PARA UNA NUEVA HISTORIA SÍSMICA DEL ORIENTE VENEZOLANO

Boletin Tecnico/Technical Bulletin 01/2008; 46(2):53-71.

ABSTRACT Con la incorporación del terremoto de 1629 en la historia sísmica del Oriente venezolano, es posible precisar mejor el comportamiento sismogenético de la falla de El Pilar en proximidad a la ciudad de Cumaná. Hasta la publicación en el año 1999 de la última versión del catálogo sismológico de Venezuela, la sismología y la historia venezolanas desconocían la información certera y documentada sobre la existencia de un sismo destructor para el año de 1629 en el Oriente de Venezuela. Luego de investigar sobre la documentación allí presentada y de indagar en fuentes primarias directas, ha sido posible evaluar este terremoto y con ello completar la historia sísmica de la región, ubicar el evento en el tiempo y en el espacio dentro de la actividad sísmica de la falla de El Pilar, asignarle un valor a su intensidad máxima (Io VIII) y estimar su magnitud (Ms 6,1-6,3). Igualmente, al observar la segmentación de la falla incluyendo al sismo de 1629, fue posible estimar preliminarmente la recurrencia de eventos similares (150 ± 18 años) y su relación con los terremotos de 1797 y 1929. Palabras Claves: Terremotos, Oriente de Venezuela, falla de El Pilar, 1629. ABSTRACT The seismogenic behavior of the El Pilar fault close to the city of Cumaná has been significantly improved by incorporating the 1629 earthquake in the seismic history of eastern Venezuela. This destructive event was poorly known, documented and understood until very recently with the publication of the latest version of the seismologic catalog of Venezuela in 1999. From documentary investigation of original primary sources or accounts, it has been possible to assess this earthquake and complete the seismic history of the region. The 1629 earthquake has been placed in relation to the El Pilar fault, and its maximum intensity (Io) and magnitude (Ms) have been estimated at VIII and 6.1-6.3, respectively. In addition, a preliminary return period has been derived between this earthquake and its successors in 1797 and 1929 (150 ± 18 years).

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