5.3 earthquake hits the Mexican state of Oaxaca

On Thursday Jan 16th, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, close to Salina Cruz, the country’s National Seismological Center (Sismológico Nacional) reported.

The earthquake was felt as far as Mexico City, according to a Reuters witness.

The 5.3 earthquake caused shock and fear among inhabitants of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Will the Guerrero seismic gap be Mexico’s demise?

According to the National Seismologic, the epicenter was located 10 km south from Ixtepec City and although initially the magnitude was set to 5.6, it was later adjusted to 5.3.

Nevertheless, among families of the region, the feeling was similar to the September 7, 2017 earthquake that had a magnitude of 8.2.

According to testimonies of locals, this new earthquake made families go out to the streets and came with an intense cracking sound.

In Juchitán de Zaragoza, a Zapotec city in Oaxaca, people reported breakdowns and panic attacks among families, who waited in the street out of fear of replicas.

According to the State Coordination of Civil Protection, the earthquake left damages in the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and authorities are still carrying out monitoring in different regions of Oaxaca to determine the damages.

Among the damages, affectations to houses, temples, and markets of the municipalities of Matías Romero, San Pedro Comitancillo, and Santa María Petapa have been reported.

Oaxaca governor Alejandro Murat informed that security protocols have been activated.

Four minutes after the first earthquake, the National Seismological confirmed another two earthquakes. The first had a magnitude of 4.9 with epicenter at 9km from Ixtepec City, while the second was of 4.3 and shared the same epicenter.

(Governor Alejandro Murat wrote on Twitter)

Just last Wednesday, Oaxaca was wakened up by four earthquakes of between 4 and 5 degrees, while on January 4, another earthquake caused damages to at least 20 municipalities in the Isthmus and the Coast, for which an emergency state was issued.

Sismológico Nacional

In Juchitán, the historical building known as “Símbolos Patrios,” which was seriously damaged since the 2017 earthquake, presented new crackings after these earthquakes.


New damages were also reported at the house of General Charis, also considered historical, were reported, while Civil Protection authorities informed that the Salina Cruz refinery is working normally.

Authorities reminded that Oaxaca is the first place in earthquakes with 679 out of the 1322 earthquakes that have taken place in Mexico until January 16, for an occurrence percentage of 47.9%.

Source: Sismológico Nacional