Mexican government officials are still tallying up the economic losses of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that caused widespread damage in the capital, … Along the coast of Mexico, the Cocos Plate slides underneath the North American Plate, moving about three inches per year. An injured person is carried away after being rescued in Mexico City on Tuesday, September 19. But if you push at a consistent frequency, each push will send the child higher into the sky. Keep up-to-date on: © 2021 Smithsonian Magazine. In the history of Mexican earthquakes, Tuesday's was coincidentally the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Michoacan earthquake, which resulted in thousands of deaths. The 1985 earthquake was the more typical great earthquake that breaks the boundary between the plates, and caused great devastation in Mexico City despite being more than 100 miles distant. “Unfortunately many people have lost their lives, including girls and boys in schools, buildings and houses. The event caused serious damage to the Greater Mexico Cityarea and the deaths of at least 5,000 people. Tuesday’s earthquake, however, was caused by … 7.) Sides of building crumble after Mexican quake, trapped inside the Enrique Rebsamen elementary school, John Vidale: Mexico's earthquake caused by crumpling from the downward bending of the sinking Cocos Plate deep within earth, He says cure for devastation: make buildings earthquake proof. At least 149 people have been reported dead after a devastating earthquake shook Mexico City and the surrounding areas, destroying buildings and sending residents scrambling to … A man walks his bike past a partially collapsed building in Jojutla on September 20. But when they roll into the soft sediments of a basin, the vibrations can become trapped, reverberating back and forth through the material, explains Susan Hough, a seismologist with the USGS. Tuesday's toll indicates there is yet more work to do. Two weeks ago, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake—the strongest in a century —jolted southern Mexico, killing nearly 100 people. The earthquake caused landslides, rockslides, and sandblows, opened cracks in the ground and damaged or destroyed buildings. Men carry beams of wood to offer help in Mexico City's Roma neighborhood on September 20. As buildings began to sway, crowds poured into the streets. In the aftermath of the earthquake, about 3,500 buildings had collapsed or were seriously damaged. Additional damage occurred in Mexico City when adjacent 20 story buildings swayed enough to bump into one another. Soldiers remove debris from a collapsed building in Mexico City on September 20. “Think of pushing a kid on a swing,” Hough adds. The earthquake happened on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed an estimated 9,500 people in and around Mexico City. A search goes on at the scene of a collapsed building in Mexico City's Del Valle neighborhood on September 19. It struck Mexico 400 miles to the southeast and offshore, not far from Guatemala, and killed dozens of people. (In local time, the earthquake struck a few minutes before midnight on Sept. While it is not yet known if this is a factor for the latest quake, “it would not be surprising,” says Polet. Rescuers in Mexico City work to save a child. There have been 34 earthquakes bigger than magnitude-7 within 300 miles of Tuesday's quake since 1900. The cause of this earthquake was the plate tectonics by crumpling arising from the downward bending of the sinking Cocos Plate, instead of moving directly by slippage between plates (Vidale). First came the 8.1-magnitude earthquake that struck offshore of Chiapas, Mexico, killing dozens and turning many buildings in the nearby region into rubble. KTLA- Damage Caused by 7.1 Earthquake in Mexico City. or The sudden release of energy causes seismic waves to radiate out from the epicenter. This reverberation doesn’t just carry these waves further—it can actually amplify them. The earthquake caused damage in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City area, including the collapse of more than 40 buildings. People remove debris off a building that collapsed in Mexico City. Cookie Policy Tuesday's earthquake took place on the anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. The sequence of events included a foreshock of magnitude 5.2 that occurred the prior May, the main shock on 19 September, and two large aftershocks. Terms of Use Families prepare to sleep under tarps outside their quake-damaged building in Mexico City on September 20. John Vidale, a seismologist, is a professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California and director of the Southern California Earthquake Center. JUDY WOODRUFF: Yesterday's earthquake in Mexico was the second in less than two weeks and brought back memories of the terrible tremor that hit 30 years to the day yesterday. President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday [Sept. 27] that preliminary accounting of the damage caused by the two big earthquakes that hit Mexico this … The shaking energy was generated at the earthquake's source, 30 miles deep, for just 20 seconds, but the waves reverberated for much longer, up to a minute or two, in the mountain and valleys. Smithsonian Institution, (U.S. Geological Survey Department of the Interior/USGS/I.D. Give a Gift. A man comforts a student outside a school in Mexico City on September 19. The first of these occurred on 20 September with a magnitude of 7.5 and the sec… Children's toys are seen in a damaged building in Mexico City on September 20. Less than 15 minutes after the quake, thousands of people in the capital lay dead and the Mexican economy was shattered for years to come. A car is crushed by debris in Mexico City on September 19. Flash Report on Damage Caused in Mexico City, Mexico, by the 2017 Puebla-Morelos Earthquake Tsuneo OHSUMI Dr., Research Center for Reinforcement of Resilient Function, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Tsukuba, … Advertising Notice It produced strong motions felt by more than 12 million people, and noticeably swayed buildings in Mexico’s capital city, some of which collapsed. Mexico City, the country’s densely-populated capital, is even more susceptible to earthquakes than the rest of the country. Although there was severe damage in the coastal regions, the real disaster happened 220 miles away in Mexico City. A woman in Mexico City cries as she tries to reach people on her cell phone after the quake. A woman in Mexico City reacts after the quake. Almost nine million people live in Mexico City. Mexico shares your grief.”. 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