On the anniversary of two previous devastating earthquakes, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck western Mexico, causing significant damage and resulting in at least one fatality.
The quake struck near the town of La Placita de Morelos in the state of Michoacán at a depth of 15km, with the secretary of the navy reporting that one person was killed in the port city of Manzanillo when a wall at a mall collapsed.
Michoacán authorities said there were no immediate reports of significant damage in that state beyond some cracks in buildings in the town of Coalcomán. However, with the death toll expected to rise and infrastructure expected to be significantly damaged, the quake will have a profound impact on the region. Our thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy.
On Tuesday, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for Mexico City after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of the Mexican state of Guerrero.
The mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said that so far there had been no reports of damage in the capital, but the US Tsunami Warning System said there was risk of a tsunami near the coast.
Footage posted on social media appeared to show flooding in the city of Manzanillo. There were no immediate reports of injuries or fatalities.
Carla Cárdenas, a 16-year-old resident of Coalcoman, was in her family’s hotel when the earthquake struck. She described the earthquake as starting slowly and then becoming very strong. She said that the hotel and some homes along the street had damage such as cracks in walls and segments of facades and roofs that had broken off. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but the earthquake caused damage in Coalcoman, Michoacan, near the quake’s epicenter.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tweeted that there were no reports of damage in the capital following an earthquake that struck off the country’s southern coast.
The U.S. Tsunami Warning Center said that hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 186 miles (300 kilometers) of the epicenter, and Mexico’s National Civil Defense agency said that based on historic data of tsunamis in Mexico, variations of as much as 32 inches (82 cm) were possible in coastal water levels near the epicenter. Alarms for the new quake came less than an hour after a quake alarm warbled in a nationwide earthquake simulation marking major, deadly quakes that struck on the same date in 1985 and 2017.
Mexicans are all too familiar with earthquakes, but even they were caught off guard by Tuesday’s magnitude 8.2 quake. The earthquake, which was the country’s strongest in a century, struck near the southern coast of Mexico late at night, and its effects were felt as far away as the capital, Mexico City.
Power was knocked out in parts of the city, and residents cradled pets or stood on the street in confusion. Traffic lights stopped working, and people clutched their phones, sending text messages or waiting for calls. Humberto Garza stood outside a restaurant in Roma holding his three-year-old son.
Like many milling about outside after the earthquake, Garza said that the earthquake alarm sounded so soon after the annual simulation that he was not sure it was real.
Thankfully, there have been no reports of significant damage or casualties, but Mexicans will be on edge until they know their loved ones are safe.