The "Eje Cafetero" earthquake, Colombia of January 25, 1999

  • J. I. Restrepo University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • H. A. Cowan GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand


A moderate shallow earthquake struck the west central region of Colombia on 25 January 1999. The earthquake caused damage of approximately NZ $3.7 billion (US $1.9 billion). 1,230 deaths. About 200,000 people were made homeless.

The level of damage and losses can be attributed to the shallow focus of the earthquake and its proximity to the major towns, together with topographical effects and soft soil conditions, which amplified the ground motions in some areas. The lack of a well-co-ordinated, national emergency response strategy, and the severe impact of the event on the organisations and key individuals responsible for managing the emergency response in the affected area, impaired the emergency response in the aftermath.

This paper summarises the main findings of a reconnaissance team to the region organised by the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.


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How to Cite
Restrepo, J. I., & Cowan, H. A. (2000). The "Eje Cafetero" earthquake, Colombia of January 25, 1999 . Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 33(1), 1-29.