At 5:46 a.m., local time, a strong earthquake shook eastern Mexico in an area that is very familiar with geological disruptions. Residents of the country felt the earthquake as far away as Mexico City, 260 miles (418 km) away, where it rocked buildings.
The website Earthquake Report has said that the region experienced minimal damage and one indirect fatality; 74-year-old Evangelina Soto de Ruiz of Oaxaca died of a heart attack contributed to fright. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 150,000 people felt the ground rumble under them. The earthquake had a relatively deep epicenter depth of 59 miles (95.1 km).
According to Global News in Canada, National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente has explained that:
“These types of earthquakes are short and very fast.”
The Latin Times reports that preliminary checks by Veracruz’s civil protection officials in the state’s 212 municipalities have found no major damage. This comes as a relief; the region is home to a major nuclear power plant and several petrochemical complexes.
In Mexico City, doors and light fixtures rattled residents awake. Reuters cites the city’s mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, in saying that some areas were evacuated but that there was no damage or injuries in the country’s capital.
The Gulf state of Veracruz, with a population of 7.6 million people, is not a stranger to this sort of geological shake-up. In April of 2011, a similar earthquake rolled underground at a depth of 104 miles (167 km) with a magnitude of 6.5, shaking buildings across the region. Again, there was only one reported fatality. But it doesn’t take much more than that to become a devastating quake; in 1973, a 7.0 earthquake damaged Veracruz and its neighbors, leaving at least 600-1,200 dead. It was bad enough to gain a nickname, albeit a tame one: El Terremoto de Orizaba (The Orizaba Earthquake).
The U.S. Geological Survey’s homepage shows that, globally in the last day, there have been 24 earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or higher, of which the Veracruz quake was the strongest. This most recent earthquake struck 11 miles (19 km) southwest of Juan Rodriguez Clara, a municipality in south Veracruz, 208 miles (335 km) from the state capital of Xalapa.
Earlier this month, the Inquisitr reported on a 6.9 magnitude earthquake which shook Mexico’s southern border at Puerto Madero; its aftermath left at least three dead and dozens injured amid mudslides and damaged buildings.
Today’s 6.3 earthquake comes less than a day after thousands of Mexico City residents were given a false alarm by quake app firm SkyAlert, which informed them that a strong earthquake was imminent and due at any second. The warning came just after noon and caused evacuations in a city where earthquakes are a part of life. The app is designed to alert customers of impending tremors using satellite warning systems. After the earthquake didn’t happen, users mocked the company on Twitter with the hashtag #noerasismo (it was not a quake).
Maybe Mexico’s SkyAlert just needs to tweak its satellite warning systems. The earthquake was only 17 hours off schedule.
[Image Courtesy of USGS]