Mexico’s earthquake coincidence drives anxiety for many

MEXICO CITY — As parents of children who were killed when a school collapsed in the 2017 earthquake in Mexico celebrated mass in their memory, the ground began to shake again.

“No more! God, not again!” they shouted as a magnitude 7.6 earthquake rocked the capital on Monday, killing two people in the Pacific coast state of Colima .

Three strong earthquakes struck Mexico on September 19 – 1985, 2017 and now 2022. The unfortunate coincidence has worried many people. The last two earthquakes also occurred very quickly after the annual earthquake drill conducted on September 19 every year in memory of the devastating 1985 earthquake.

Mexico’s National Civil Defense Coordinator Laura Velázquez on Tuesday said the two deaths in Colima were caused by part of the collapsed buildings. Ten people were injured – nine in Colima and one in neighboring Michoacan.

More than 200 buildings were damaged, including dozens of schools and medical centers, she said. Much of the damage was in the Pacific states, close to the epicenter of Michoacan. About 20 buildings in Mexico City were damaged, but it was minor, she said.

On the morning of September 19, 1985, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the center, south, and west of the country, leaving about 9,500 dead.

“It was really weird, but a lot of people didn’t like the day,” said Jorge Ornelas, a call center coordinator. He said a lot of his acquaintances began to worry about an earthquake in September.

Ornelas, 35, said: “If we keep thinking that every September 19th it will shake, it will continue to happen every year, because what you think is always what happens.

Xyoli Pérez-Campos, a researcher in the seismology department at the Institute of Geophysics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said there is no physical reason for the coincidence of large earthquakes on one day. Monday’s earthquake was the result of “the interaction of the Cocos Plate with the North American Plate,” which was also responsible for the 1985 earthquake.

The five plates – North America, Pacific, Rivera, Caribbean and Cocos – all run under Mexican territory.

Pérez-Campos said: “The plates broke when it was time for them to break. “What will they know about the calendar?”

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