5.8 earthquake in Oaxaca felt as far away as Mexico City

The National Seismological (SSN) announced that there was an earthquake of magnitude 5.8 in Oaxaca, which was perceived in Mexico City and Chiapas. (update, the magnitude has been downgraded to a 5.5 since the preliminary reports.)

The earthquake was registered 44km northeast of Crucecita, Oaxaca at 4:43 pm local time.

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

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

Moments later, the head of the Secretariat for Citizen Security of Mexico City, Omar García Harfuch, reported that the flight of 5 helicopters began to assess possible damage to the city, after the earthquake in Oaxaca.

“Flight of 5 helicopters begins to assess possible damage from the earthquake that just occurred in CDMX. We report an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 near the coasts of Oaxaca (Huatulco) ”, he wrote on his Twitter account.

In the face of significant seismic activity, the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) recommends not falling for rumors or false news and only inform yourself from official sources, such as Civil Protection authorities, both local and state, as well as federal.

After an earthquake, check your house for possible damage, use your cell phone only in emergencies, 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 alert.

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

During an earthquake, remain calm and locate yourself in a safety zone, stay away from objects that may fall; if you are in a vehicle, park and move away from buildings, trees, and poles; and if you are located on the coast, stay away from the beach and take refuge in high areas.

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 quakes, which caused great damage throughout the country. However, there are records 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. That March 28, 1787, it trembled with the force of magnitude 8.6. The earth not only vibrated but also the sea showed its fury with a tsunami up to 6 kilometers beyond the coastline.

Experts from the Center for Seismic Instrumentation and Recording (Cires) estimate that similar situations will be possible in the near future. These conclusions arose from a study dated 2009 that 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. This is because this area has great potential for events of a geological nature, given its location in the so-called Guerrero Gap.

However, a lower magnitude in a seismic event does not necessarily translate into a lower impact on buildings and infrastructure. Thus, in 1985 and 2017, the inhabitants of the capital, Mexico City, had to face the devastation caused by two earthquakes that became a watershed in their lives.

The one in 1985, occurred on September 19 at 7:19 local time (13:19 UTC), with an epicenter in the state of Guerrero and a magnitude of 8.2. Since then, it was believed that nothing like it would be repeated, but, coincidentally, it happened again exactly 32 years later on the exact date as the 1985 earthquake just moments after the city had completed its yearly earthquake drills.

The one in 2017 occurred between the states of Puebla and Morelos at 1:14 pm local time (18:30 UTC), killing 369 officially.

Information in development…

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