Update On the Mexico Earthquake

In Mexico

The biggest earthquake to hit Mexico in over a Century occurred on September the 7th and death toll is now put at 58. The earthquake is said to have moved the fault by 32 Feet.

Seismologists now say the magnitude 8.1 quake was so large it moved the fault up by 32 feet, as the Cocos and North American tectonic plates collided.

According to David Galloway, from the British Geological Survey, in a Yahoo report; “Since the initial quake, many aftershocks have been recorded, ranging between magnitude 4.3 and 5.7. Seismologists are currently monitoring for more, as these could pose a major risk to the buildings already destabilized by the initial 8.1 earthquake.”

Several reports put the death toll at 58, with most killed in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco. Photos and video from regions affected show widespread damage. The British Geological Survey estimates half a million people experienced severe shaking.

Mexico earthquake
An earth map showing the movements occasioned by the recent earthquake

One of the reasons earthquakes in this area cause so much damage is the ground beneath. Mexico City is built on a sedimentary basin. This is a valley where the rock is soft and loose, meaning the shaking is amplified. It also means aftershocks can continue to cause damage after the main earthquake has struck.

The largest observed earthquake in the region was a magnitude 8.6 in Oaxaca in 1787. Two other earthquakes of magnitude 8 or over were recorded in the 20th century—a magnitude 8.1 in 1932 and a magnitude 8 in 1985. The 1985 earthquake hit near the capital Mexico City, killing thousands and injuring many more.

Mexico Earthquake
Devastations from the Mexico Eartquake


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