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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Intense Earthquake of 7.6 Magnitude Strikes Mexico on Fateful Anniversary

The quake hit the city on the anniversary of two infamous earthquakes

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MEXICO: A magnitude of 7.6 earthquake jolted western Mexico on Monday on the anniversary of two devastating earthquakes, killing at least two people.

The earthquake also destroyed property and buildings, knocked out power lines and sent residents of Mexico City scrambling outside their homes for safety.

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Authorities confirmed that two died in the Pacific port of Manzanillo, one crushed by the façade of a department store while the other was found dead at a mall. 

Video footage of the disastrous event did the rounds on social media and showed the mall’s roof collapsed into a gym’s top floor as people screamed for help.

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According to the authorities, several hospitals also suffered damage in the western state of Michoacan near the epicentre, located in the sparsely populated part of Mexico. The government reported that one person was wounded by shards of glass falling on him at one of the hospitals.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake struck shortly after 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) near Mexico’s west coast and close to Michoacan’s border with the state of Colima, where major port Manzanillo is situated.

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It was relatively shallow, only 15 km (9 miles) deep, which would have amplified its impact.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning for nearby coastal areas, alerting that the waves could reach 1 to 3 meters (3 to 9 feet) above the tide level.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there were no confirmed reports of major damage to public or private property after the earthquake jolted the city, which hit the city on the anniversary of two infamous quakes which battered the country back in 1985 and as recent as 2017.

Residents were traumatized, including 34-year-old Isa Montes, who described the quake as a “curse”. 

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one of the country’s most revered educational institutions, said there was no scientific explanation for the consistent quake patterns and attributed it to pure coincidence.

Where science failed, superstition gave in. Another resident in the Cuauhtemoc borough of the city, Ernesto Lanzetta, was unsettled about the ‘purely coincidental’ aspect of the quake. He said, “It’s this date. There’s something about the 19th.”

“The 19th is a day to be feared.”

Several social media netizens were compelled to make connections, even far-fetched to some, as one Twitter user linked the quake to specific lines in the Mexican National Anthem. A certain portion of the anthem, especially the chorus, has the following lines, “…and may the earth tremble at its centers at the resounding roar of the canon.”

The user wrote, “Either a sick joke of Mother Nature, or we’re just living up to the National Anthem…”

The earthquake that struck Mexico City back in 1985 claimed the lives of thousands, while the recent one in 2017 reportedly killed 350 people.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also noted the intensity of material damage near the epicentre. Images posted on social media showed several buildings were severely damaged.

Mexican authorities said the seismic alert, signifying the beginning of the quake, was sounded nearly two minutes before the hit for people to evacuate.

However, some residents failed to recognize the gravity of the situation or even predict the severity of the quake as the government had already sounded the alarm on the previous day to mark the anniversary of the two infamous earthquakes on the same day.

Also Read: Taiwan Suffers a 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake

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