Strong earthquake shakes Mexico and Central America, killing at least 61


Strong earthquake shakes Mexico and Central America, killing at least 61

Rafael Azul

9 September 2017

The most intense earthquake to hit the area in one hundred years, measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale, shook southwest Mexico and Central America on Thursday. At last count, at least 61 were dead in Mexico and at least 200 have been injured, mostly in the state of Oaxaca. The death toll is expected to rise.

The epicenter of the earthquake was 40 miles (69 kilometers) under the surface of the Pacific Ocean and parallel to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that separates North America from Central America, 60 miles (100km) from the city of Tonalá, in the state of Chiapas. Tsunami warnings were issued for the coasts of Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The earthquake struck at around midnight Thursday; some 50 million people felt it across southern and central Mexico. In Mexico City, the swaying buildings were reminiscent of the 1985 quake that killed well over ten thousand of its inhabitants.

While there were scenes of panic in Mexico City, there were only two casualties of people hit by falling debris. Following the 1985 earthquake, the government tightened earthquake regulations for that city and installed alarms that woke citizens up and gave them time escape.

However, given Mexico’s endemic corruption and cronyism, it is not completely possible to determine how effective the new codes are, since the epicenter of this latest earthquake was two times the distance from Mexico City relative to the one in 1985.

Power lines fell, buildings collapsed and walls fell in the eastern part of the sprawling metropolis of twenty million inhabitants. Throughout Mexico, nearly two million people were left without electricity.

The citizens of Morelia, Puebla, and Guadalajara also felt…

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