At least 1 dead after Mexico’s Pacific coast shaken by magnitude 7.6 earthquake

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Mexico’s central Pacific coast on Monday, killing at least one person and setting off a seismic alarm in the rattled capital on the anniversary of two earlier devastating quakes. There were no immediate reports of significant damage from the quake that hit at 1:05 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which had initially put the magnitude at 7.5.

It said the quake was centered 23 miles southeast of Aquila near the boundary of Colima and Michoacan states and at a depth of 9.4 miles.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said via Twitter that the secretary of the Navy told him one person was killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima, when a wall at a mall collapsed.

Michoacan’s Public Security department said there were no immediate reports of significant damage in that state beyond some cracks in buildings in the town of Coalcoman.

Mexico’s National Civil Defense agency said that based on historic data of tsunamis in Mexico, variations of as much as 32 inches were possible in coastal water levels near the epicenter. The U.S. Tsunami Warning Center said that hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 186 miles of the epicenter.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tweeted that there were no reports of damage in the capital.

“It felt terrible,” Karina Suarez, 37, said after evacuating the building where she lives in the capital, according to AFP.

People stand in the street after a quake in Mexico City, Mexico, September 19, 2022.
People stand in the street after a quake in Mexico City, Mexico, September 19, 2022.

Reuters/Henry Romero


Alarms for the quake came less than an hour after quake alarms warbled in a nationwide earthquake simulation marking major quakes that struck on the same date in 1985 and 2017.

In the 1985 quake, more than 10,000 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

Humberto Garza stood outside a restaurant in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood holding his 3-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. 

“I heard the alarm, but it sounded really far away,” he said. 

Outside the city’s environmental ombudsman’s office, dozens of employees waited. Some appeared visibly shaken. Power was out in parts of the city, including stoplights, snarling the capital’s already notorious traffic.

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