Q24N (DW) Mexico was hit by a powerful earthquake on Monday, as the country was marking the anniversaries of two major quakes that had struck the country on the same date in 1985 and 2017.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a video address that one person had been killed in the Pacific port of Manzanillo when a wall collapsed in a store.
Witnesses in Mexico City, a considerable distance inland to the east, described buildings shaking while authorities reported damage to two hospitals in the western state of Michoacan near the epicenter.
An evacuation order was issued for larger buildings in the capital, according to local reports. Power was briefly knocked out in some parts of the capital and some road signals like traffic lights stopped functioning.
Exactly 37 years to the day since Mexico’s deadliest quake
The Mexican National Seismological Service initially said the earthquake was magnitude 6.8, with the epicenter several hundred kilometers west of Mexico City, near the border of the states of Colima and Michoacan.
Mexican seismologists revised the quake’s magnitude to 7.4, while the United States Geological Survey put the figure at 7.6 and said a tsunami was possible.
SISMO Magnitud 7.4 Loc 63 km al SUR de COALCOMAN, MICH 19/09/22 13:05:09 Lat 18.22 Lon -103.29 Pf 15 km pic.twitter.com/qc3bYLi9LP
— Sismologico Nacional (@SismologicoMX) September 19, 2022
The quake comes on the anniversary of Mexico’s deadliest on record, when there were more than 5,000 fatalities reported after the capital was struck by a magnitude 8.1 tremor on September 19, 1985.
Another quake on the same date in 2017, with its epicenter inland and far closer to Mexico City than Monday’s tremor, caused more than 200 fatalities and some 1,300 injuries.
Authorities had sounded the earthquake alarms in memory of these past events roughly an hour earlier on Monday, before having to use them for real at around 1 p.m. local time.
Mexico is on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, the busiest area of volcanic and tectonic activity on the planet. It spans several continents, incorporating most of the west coast of the Americas and most of the eastern tip of Asia and some Pacific islands.
jsi/aw (EFE, AFP, AP, Reuters)