Magnitude 4.4 Earthquake Struck 13 km W of San Martín de los Andes, Argentina on March 16, 2021 19:39:07

Last Updated: 2021-05-26 22:08:13

On March 16, 2021 19:39:07 an earthquake with magnitude of 4.4 on the richter scale hit 13 km W of San Martín de los Andes, Argentina. The earthquake originated at a depth of approximately 186.78 kilometers below the Earth's surface on longitude -71.507° and latitude -40.144°. According to documented reports 3 people felt the earth quake, No tsunami was triggered due to the earthquake.

Magnitude & Depth

The earthquake that appeared on March 16, 2021 19:39:07 had a magnitude of 4.4 on the richter scale. Which is considered to be a minor earthquake and is often felt but causes little to no damage.

Shallow earthquakes are considered between 0 and 70 km deep, while intermediate earthquakes range from 70 - 300 km deep and deep earthquakes are between 300 - 700 km deep.

Are shallow earthquakes more destructive?

Shallow quakes generally tend to be more damaging than deeper quakes. Seismic waves from deep quakes have to travel farther to the surface, losing energy along the way.

Nearby Cities and Towns

The nearest significant population center is San Martín de los Andes in Neuquén, Argentina, located 13 kilometers or 8 miles → E of the earthquake's epicenter. Other cities in close proximity include Departamento de Lácar (Neuquén, Argentina) located 28 km (17 mi) → E and Junín de los Andes (Neuquén, Argentina) located 42 km (26 mi) ↗ NE of the epicenter.

In total, we found 6 cities in our database that might have been impacted by the earthquake.

Distance Direction City State Country
13 km (8 mi) → E San Martín de los Andes Neuquén 🇦🇷 Argentina
28 km (17 mi) → E Departamento de Lácar Neuquén 🇦🇷 Argentina
42 km (26 mi) ↗ NE Junín de los Andes Neuquén 🇦🇷 Argentina
69 km (43 mi) ↓ S Villa La Angostura Neuquén 🇦🇷 Argentina
101 km (63 mi) ↗ NE Las Coloradas Neuquén 🇦🇷 Argentina
123 km (76 mi) ↗ NE Departamento de Catán-Lil Neuquén 🇦🇷 Argentina

Nearby Power Plants

We found a total 2 utility-scale power plants in the vecinity of the earthquakes epicenter. Ranging form closest to furtherst, one of these is a neaclear power plant.

Distance Direction Power Plant Type Capacity
14 km (9 mi) → E SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES Oil 4.218 MW
80 km (49 mi) → E ALICURA Hydro 1050.0 MW

Power Plants & Risks During Earthquakes

We found 2 types of power plants in the vecinity of the magnitude 4.4 earthquake that struck 13 km W of San Martín de los Andes, Argentina on March 16, 2021 19:39:07. These types were Oil power plants, Hydro power plants, below you find information how each type of power plant can pose a risk to you as a person or the ecosytem around you.

None of this information should be used as guidence in an event of an emergency, but rather as additional references to information provided by national, state and local authorities.


Hydropower plants are generally considered as safe in many aspects, but when it comes to severe earthquakes they pose a substantial risk that can manifest in the form of dam faliours, landslides and grave impacts on surrounding ecosystems.

Dam Failure

The most significant risk is the potential failure of the dam that holds the water reservoir. Severe ground shaking can damage or breach the dam, leading to downstream flooding and as a result endangering people and wildlife living downstream. Such an event can also have severe impact on key infrastructure that cascades through society.


Earthquakes can trigger landslides in the areas surrounding hydropower plants, potentially damaging infrastructure and causing harm to nearby communities.

Damage to Aquatic Ecosystems

Both landslide and dam failures can have a severe impact on upstream and downstream aquatic wildlife, ecosystem and groundwater, resulting in longterm risks for people and industires living and operating in areas near the water supply.

To mitigate these risks, engineering and construction standards for hydropower plants often include earthquake-resistant designs. These designs incorporate measures such as flexible foundations, strengthened dam structures, and advanced monitoring systems to detect early signs of stress. Additionally, emergency plans and evacuation procedures should be in place to protect personnel and downstream communities in the event of a severe earthquake.

Oil Power

Oil-fired power plants can pose significant risks to society, people, and ecosystems in the event of a severe earthquake.

Oil Spills & Fires

One of the most immediate dangers is the risk of oil spills and fires. The shaking during an earthquake can rupture storage tanks and pipelines, leading to the release of large quantities of oil. Spilled oil can catch fire, causing explosions and further environmental damage.

Air Quality Polution

Oil fires and releases can result in the release of toxic fumes and particulate matter into the air. This can lead to poor air quality, posing health risks to nearby communities. People exposed to these pollutants may experience respiratory issues and other health problems.

Water Pollution

Spilled oil can contaminate nearby water bodies, including rivers, lakes, and groundwater. This can harm aquatic ecosystems, killing fish and other wildlife, and disrupting the food chain. Drinking water supplies may also be compromised, impacting human health.

Soil Contamination

Oil spills can saturate the soil, making it less fertile and potentially rendering it unusable for agriculture. Soil contamination can persist for years, affecting local food production.

Long-Term Environmental Damage

The environmental damage caused by oil spills and fires can persist long after the earthquake event. Cleanup efforts can be costly and challenging, and ecosystems may take years or even decades to recover fully.

To mitigate these risks, most modern oil-fired power plants follow strict regulations, safety measures, and extensive emergency response plans are in place for oil power plants located in seismically active regions. This includes robust containment systems, automatic shutdown mechanisms, and well-trained response teams.

Data Information

Information found on this page is a derivative set, based on sources mentioned below.

Data Sources

We aggregate and combine data from USGS (United States Geographical Survey) and the EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre). This allow us to get near real-time and historical earthquake data dating back to the year 1950.


Information or data found on this page should not be used for, or as an early warning system. It is intended as an historical reference or near real-time complementary information to offical and governmental sources. In an event of an emergency it is important closely monitor and follow advice from national, state and local authorities.

Magnitude 4.4 Earthquake Struck 13 km W of San Martín de los Andes, Argentina on March 16, 2021 19:39:07
Date and Time
2021-03-16 19:39:07 (UTC)
4.4 Magnitude (richter scle)
186.78 km
3 people has reported that they felt this earthquake
Did you feel this earthquake?