How to Talk About an Earthquake in Spanish
If you’ve ever experienced an earthquake in Spanish-speaking countries, you know that it’s a scary situation to be in.
A significant portion of Latin America is located in El Cinturón de Fuego del Pacífico, also known as the Pacific Fire Belt. This means most countries in the Americas that have a coast on the Pacific Ocean have not only high volcanic activity but also earthquake activity.
Read this blog post to learn about earthquakes in Latin America and Spain, discover earthquake safety tips in Spanish, and study general earthquake vocabulary. Grab a sturdy chair, put your hard hat on, and get ready to learn about earthquakes in Spanish!
Earthquake Vocabulary in Spanish
Let’s learn some general earthquake vocabulary! If you want to learn more about earthquake safety, please check out these official earthquake safety tips to better prepare yourself if a disaster strikes.
Earthquake Safety in Spanish
|Hold on!||¡Agárrate fuerte!|
|Search party||El equipo de rastreo|
|First aid kit||El kit de primeros auxilios|
|Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)||La resucitación cardiopulmonar|
Earthquake in Spanish Terminology
|Earthquake aftershock||La réplica|
|Tectonic plates||Las placas tectónicas|
|Fault line||La línea de falla|
|Richter scale||La escala de Richter|
|Seismic waves||Las ondas sísmicas|
|Plate boundary||El límite de placas|
Earthquake Conversations in Spanish
Let’s practice with some phrases and conversations about earthquakes in Spanish!
Hola Rita, ¿Sentiste el temblor?
-¡Sí! Qué miedo que haya pasado durante la madrugada.
¿Todo bien en tu casa?
–No estoy segura, creo que escuché un ruido fuerte bajando las gradas. Voy a revisar si están bien mis gatitos.
OK, ten cuidado. Recuerda que pueden haber réplicas.
–Tú también, estoy aquí si me necesitas.
Hi Rita, did you feel the earthquake?
-Yes! It’s so scary that it happened so late during the night.
Is everything ok at home?
-I’m not sure. I think I heard a loud noise downstairs. I’ll go check if my kitties are okay.
OK, be careful. Remember that there could be an aftershock.
-You too, I’ll be here if you need me.
–Rob, escuche del terremoto en Honduras. ¿Están bien?
Hola Carlos, gracias por preguntar. Todos estamos bien, el epicentro fue lejos de donde vivimos, aquí solo se movieron un poco las lámparas.
–Qué me alegro.
Sí, parece que cerca del epicentro estuvo peor, en un par de horas vamos a ir con los chicos a comprar víveres para donar.
–Qué buena idea. Yo sé que a Sammy le gusta entretener a los niños con sus trucos de magia.
Por supuesto, ella ya empacó su maleta y su baraja para que pasen un rato alegre en este momento difícil.
-Rob, I heard about the earthquake in Honduras. Are you alright?
Hey Carlos, thanks for asking. We’re all just fine, the epicenter was far away from our home so all we got here was some lamps moving around.
-I’m glad to hear that.
Yeah, it looks like things are worse near the epicenter, in a couple of hours we’re going to buy groceries to donate with the kids.
-That’s a great idea. I know Sammy loves to entertain the kids with her magic tricks.
Of course, she already packed a suitcase and her playing cards to help the kids have fun in a difficult situation.
Other Natural Disasters
Here are some other common natural disasters in Spanish, such as tsunami in Spanish and flood in Spanish.
|Dust storm||La tormenta de arena|
Earthquakes in Latin America and Spain
There have been many disastrous earthquakes in human history. Let’s talk about some of the most famous earthquakes in Spanish-speaking countries.
Terremoto de Guatemala, 1976
This earthquake happened in my home country when my parents were kids. It’s the reason why we had to do simulacros de terremoto (earthquake drills) where we had to duck under our desks when the alarm sounded during class.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale and it devastated a third of the capital city in a matter of seconds. This earthquake had lots of aftershocks, the strongest of which reached a magnitude of 5.8.
Terremoto de Almería, 1522
This was the most destructive earthquake in Spanish territory. It completely destroyed the city of Almería with an estimated magnitude of 7.0. This earthquake was so strong that the people in the north of Africa were able to feel it.
More recent earthquakes have been as strong as the earthquake of Almería but none were as destructive. This bodes well for us since modern civil engineers have made buildings a lot more sturdy and durable. After this earthquake left Almería in an inhabitable state, it was rebuilt into what it is today.
Terremoto San Fermín, 1918
The infamous 1918 earthquake in Puerto Rico caused serious damage. If that isn’t scary enough, a tsunami came to the shores of the west coast of the country with waves that reached over 5.5 meters (18 feet) in height! The total damage estimate was around $4 million.
Learn More Safety Spanish Skills
Latin Americans who live near the Pacific Ocean likely have some interesting stories and experiences to share about earthquakes. If you want to learn more about earthquakes in Spanish through vocabulary practice and conversation, take a free class with one of our certified Spanish teachers at Homeschool Spanish Academy. We have over 24,000 active students that use our platform to learn to communicate effectively every month, so take this opportunity and move your Spanish to the next level today!
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