An Overview of the Damaging and Low Magnitude Mw 4.8 La Paca Earthquake on 29 January 2005: Context, Seismotectonics, and Seismic Risk Implications for Southeast Spain



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Benito, Belén and Capote del Villar, Ramón and Murphy, P. and Gaspar Escribano, Jorge M. and Martínez Díaz, José J. and Tsige Aga, Meaza and Stich, Daniel and García Mayordomo, Julián and García Rodríguez, M.J. and Jiménez, M. E. and Insúa Arévalo, Juan Miguel and Álvarez Gómez, José Antonio and Canora Catalán, Carolina (2007) An Overview of the Damaging and Low Magnitude Mw 4.8 La Paca Earthquake on 29 January 2005: Context, Seismotectonics, and Seismic Risk Implications for Southeast Spain. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 97 (3). pp. 671-690. ISSN 0037-1106

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This article presents an overview of the La Paca earthquake of magnitude
mbLg 4.7, which occurred on 29 January 2005, with its epicenter located near
the town of Avile´s in the Murcia region in southeast Spain. Despite its low magnitude,
the earthquake caused important damage in two towns of the epicentral area, La Paca
and Zarcilla de Ramos. These areas recorded intensities of VI–VII (European
Macroseismic Scale, 1998) and sustained estimated economic losses amounting to
10 million €. Aftershocks continued for more than 2 weeks, producing considerable
alarm in the population and mobilizing emergency services from the whole region.
The La Paca seismic series is the third registered in the region in the past 8 years,
being preceded by the Mula (1999) and southwest Bullas (2002) seismic series. These
main events had also low magnitudes (mbLg 4.8) and caused damage levels similar
to the 2005 earthquake. The case is an example of a moderate seismic zone where
low-magnitude and frequent earthquakes have important implications on the seismic
hazard and risk of the region. Although these are not the largest expected earthquakes,
they have yielded important information for improving the knowledge of the seismic
activity of the area. With this aim in mind, different topics have been analyzed from
a multidisciplinary perspective, including seismicity, local tectonics and surface geology,
focal mechanisms, macroseismic effects, and ground motion. Results indicate
a local tectonic interpretation, consistent with a strike-slip focal mechanism, the
confirmation of a triggering process between the 2002 and 2005 earthquakes, a geotechnical
and ground-motion characterization for the damaged sites (supporting local
amplification effects and estimated peak ground acceleration values of �0.1g), and
an understanding of damage patterns in relation to local building trends. The results
may be used as guidelines for future revisions of the Spanish Building Code (Norma
de la Construccio´n Sismorresistente Espan˜ola [NCSE-02], 2002). The study results
should contribute to risk mitigation in a region where strong-motion records from
the maximum expected earthquakes are not available. This approach can be extended
to other regions with similar seismic backgrounds and a lack of strong-motion

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Seismotectonics, Southeast Spain, Earthquake
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
Sciences > Geology > Seismology
ID Code:26079
Deposited On:01 Jul 2014 08:54
Last Modified:28 Apr 2015 07:56

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