An earthquake measuring at least 5.4 on the Richter scale struck 7-and-a half miles from the municipality of Laz Paz Centro and in close proximity to the active Volcano Momotombo in Nicaragua late Wednesday, sparking major aftershocks, and fear, but no reported casualties.
The earthquake struck at 11:57 PM local time, and an initial afterschock measuring 4.4. After the initial aftershock, the National Preventive System for Disasters, or SINAPRED, report that another 10 had followed.
Even more are expected, according to SINAPRED authorities, who have also confirmed the earthquake is connected to the 6.1. and 7.3 earthquakes that hit Nicaragua in April and October 2014, respectively.
According to Dr. Armando Saballos, authorities are assessing the situation and monitoring the activity of Momotombo, which so far has given "no indication that the volcano has increased in activity." Various news agencies reported the Wednesday earthquake measured anywhere from 5.4 to 5.9 in magnitude. The maximum ever recorded on the Richter scale was 9.5 by a 1960 Chilean earthquake.
Thousands of Nicaraguans were evacuated after the Momotombo volcano erupted for the first time in 110 years back in December 2015, spewing lava, ash and smoke.
The volcano last erupted in 1905. In 1610, the Momotombo erupted so fiercely it forced the city of Leon to move.