Home Institution

Yale University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


Tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean about once every 1.5 years (Berninghausen, 1962). Forty-nine Tsunamis are recorded to have hit the western coast of South America since 1562, though only 3 hit the coast of Ecuador specifically (Berninghausen, 1962). However, it is still important to recognize the possibility of having a tsunami in Ecuador and plan accordingly. On a very complex junction of the Nazca and South American plate, with the Nazca and Carnegie Ridges as well as the Galapagos hotspot, this part of the world is apt to many earthquakes, submarine landslides, and volcanic activity which all have the potential to lead to a tsunami.

This paper justifies the need to be cautious of a tsunami on the coast of Ecuador, and in the general Puerto Lopez area, even though there is no recorded history of one in or around the area. It then focuses specifically on the canton of Puerto Lopez to examine the plans of the municipality for emergencies and natural disasters, with attention toward tsunamis, and with respect to the geology of the area and relevant seismicity.


Geology | Infrastructure | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation


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