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El Quindio Colombia Earthquake, January 25, 1999
browse graphic The El Quindio earthquake was one of the most destructive natural disasters to have occurred in Colombia in recent years. Long lasting economic and social impacts will continue to be felt in Armenia and other Colombian cities close to the epicenter. The quake turned twenty cities and towns across western parts of the country into a disaster zone, and was felt as far away as Colombia's capital, Bogota, 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the epicenter. The earthquake caused approximately 700 deaths and an additional 2,500 individuals were injured. About 700 buildings were destroyed and 50,000 people were left homeless in Armenia. The three factors that were most responsible for structural damage were presence of faults, infill walls, and "soft" soils.