by Sam Zukin
On Sept. 19, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico, killing 333 people with the death toll still expected to increase, according to Mexican authorities. The US Geological Survey located the epicenter to be about 34 miles south of the city of Puebla.
Mexican officials confirmed that 194 of the victims died in Mexico City, 74 died in the state Morelos, 45 died in the Puebla state, 13 died in the Mexico state, six died in the Guerrero state, and one died in the Oaxaca state.
This devastating earthquake marks the anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that killed thousands of people.
The Cocos Tectonic Plate slid under the North American Tectonic Plate, a process also known as subduction. These violent clashes between the tectonic plates led to the earthquake.
The quake caused large-scale damage to multiple buildings and infrastructure, including
demolishing the Enrique Rebsamen school, killing 25 people.
US President Donald Trump offered condolences and assistance to the victims.
President Enrique Peña Nieto declared three days of national mourning due to the tragedy of the most recent earthquake.
“The power of this earthquake was devastating, but we are certain that the power of unity, the power of solidarity and the power of shared responsibility will be greater,” Nieto said.
According to Geophysicist Gavin Hayes, Mexico City sits on top of numerous soft sediments that make it susceptible to earthquakes. Due to the area’s positioning, there could be more earthquakes to come.
Search and rescue efforts run rampant in Mexico as they cover rubble and collapsed buildings for possible survivors.
The Chiapas earthquake that happened on Sept. 7 was the strongest ever to occur in Mexico as it killed at least 98 people and had a 8.1 magnitude. Another 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico with its epicenter located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca that hit last Saturday. It further exacerbated the troubles of search and rescue teams. It led to some collapsed infrastructure already affected by previous earthquakes. There have been no direct fatalities from the event.
(Sources: LA Times, US Geological Survey, National Geographic, CNN, The Guardian, New Scientist, Environment & Science, Aljazeera, CNN, The Washington Times)