Magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Oaxaca felt as far away as Mexico City


The National Seismological (SSN) announced that there was a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Oaxaca, which was felt in Mexico City and Chiapas. (Update, magnitude has been downgraded to 5.5 from preliminary reports.)

The earthquake was recorded 44 km northeast of Crucecita, Oaxaca at 4:43 p.m. local time.

Mexico City authorities have asked citizens to remain calm and be alert for possible aftershocks; they said the activation of alerts in the city was not warranted because the tremor felt in CDMX was mild and not widespread.

“An earthquake with a slight detection is recorded in Mexico City. @C5_CDMX informs me that the magnitude did not justify the activation of the seismic alert in Mexico City. Protocols have been activated”, tweeted the mayor of Mexico.

Moments later, the head of Mexico City’s Citizen Security Secretariat, Omar García Harfuch, reported that the flight of 5 helicopters had begun to assess possible damage to the city, following the earthquake in Oaxaca.

“The flight of 5 helicopters is beginning to assess possible damage from the earthquake that just occurred at CDMX. We report an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 near the coast of Oaxaca (Huatulco),” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Faced with significant seismic activity, the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) recommends not to fall into the trap of rumors or false news and to seek information only from official sources, such as the authorities of the civil protection, both local and state and federal.

After an earthquake, check your house for damage, only use your cell phone in an emergency, do not light matches or candles until you are sure there are no gas leaks, and remember that aftershocks can occur, so it is important to be vigilant.

You can also take the following actions before an earthquake: prepare a civil protection plan, organize evacuation drills, find safe areas at home, school or workplace, and prepare a backpack. emergency back.

During an earthquake, stay calm and move to a safe area, stay away from falling objects; if you are in a vehicle, park and move away from buildings, trees and poles; and if you find yourself on the coast, move away from the beach and take refuge in height.

Mexicans are used to earthquakes since the country is located in an area of ​​high seismicity. The most notable earthquakes in recent history were the 1985 and 2017 earthquakes, which caused great damage across the country. However, there are traces of even more destructive movements in the country’s history.

The strongest earthquake recorded in the history of what is now Mexico had its epicenter in Oaxaca. On March 28, 1787, he trembled with a force of magnitude 8.6. The land not only vibrated but also the sea showed its fury with a tsunami up to 6 kilometers beyond the coast.

Experts from the Center for Instrumentation and Seismic Recording (Cires) estimate that similar situations will be possible in the near future. These conclusions come from a study dating from 2009 which sought to analyze the event. It was then said that there could be earthquakes of a similar magnitude on the coasts of Mexico and Central America. Indeed, this area has great potential for events of a geological nature, given its location in the so-called Guerrero Gap.

However, a lower magnitude during a seismic event does not necessarily translate to less impact on buildings and infrastructure. Thus, in 1985 and 2017, the inhabitants of the capital, Mexico City, had to deal with the devastation caused by two earthquakes which marked a turning point in their lives.

The one in 1985, occurred on September 19 at 7:19 a.m. local time (1:19 p.m. UTC), with an epicenter in the state of Guerrero and a magnitude of 8.2. Since then, it was thought that nothing like this would happen again, but, coincidentally, it happened again exactly 32 years later, on the exact date of the 1985 earthquake, just moments after the city had completed its annual earthquake drills.

The 2017 one occurred between the states of Puebla and Morelos at 1:14 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. UTC), officially killing 369 people.

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