5.7-magnitude earthquake hits Veracruz

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake rocked a small town in south-eastern Mexico on Thursday.

The epicenter was about seven miles north of Nopalapan, according to the US Geological Survey. The town of around 2,000 people is located in the Mexican state of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico.

The quake happened some 235 miles south of Mexico City. There have so far been no reports of injuries or structural damage from the tremors which took place at a depth of 69 miles.

The earthquake warning alarm was briefly activated in the capital, a city with a population of almost nine million.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was briefly evacuated from his morning news conference amid the alarms, Reuters reported. The president later returned and confirmed there were no reports of serious damage.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told the news agency that some buildings in the capital were evacuated according to protocol, and the metro train system was restarting operations.

Located on top of three large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world’s most seismically active regions, and the country has a long history of destructive events and volcanic eruptions.

The Baja California Peninsula, west of the Gulf of California, is on the Pacific plate which grinds past the North American plate.

The San Andreas Fault is an 800-mile stretch which runs through California from San Diego to north of San Francisco where the tectonic plates meet. This fault line may be capable of producing much larger earthquakes than previously believed, according to findings published this week in the journal Geology.

Researchers said that earlier assumptions about the scale of possible earthquakes produced by the fault line were underestimated.

In the early hours of Thursday, a 3.9 magnitude earthquake also struck in California wine country, north of the town of Healdsburg, Sonoma County.

In September 1985, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City.

The Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos, to the southeast of the capital, occasionally vent gas. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing mass evacuation. The Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010.

The Yucatan Times
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