MEXICO CITY — As parents of children killed when a school collapsed in Mexico’s 2017 earthquake celebrated a mass in their memory, the ground began to shake again.
” No not yet ! My God, not yet! they shouted as a 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook the capital on Monday, killing two people in the Pacific coast state of Colima.
Three powerful earthquakes struck Mexico on September 19 – in 1985, 2017 and now 2022. The unlucky coincidence has caused anxiety among many. The last two earthquakes also occurred very shortly after the annual earthquake drill held each September 19 to commemorate the devastating 1985 quake.
Mexico’s national civil defense coordinator, Laura Velázquez, said Tuesday that the two deaths in Colima were due to parts of buildings collapsing. Ten people were injured, including nine in Colima and one in neighboring Michoacan.
More than 200 buildings were damaged, including dozens of schools and health centers, she said. Most of the damage occurred in these Pacific states near 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 central, southern and western parts of the country, killing some 9,500 people.
“It’s really strange, but a lot of people already don’t like that day,” said call center coordinator Jorge Ornelas. He said many of his acquaintances are starting to worry about an earthquake in September.
“If we keep thinking that every September 19 it’s going to shake, it’s going to keep happening every year, because what you think is always what happens,” Ornelas, 35, said.
Xyoli Pérez-Campos, a researcher at the seismology department of the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Geophysical Institute, said there was no physical reason for major earthquakes to coincide in a single day. Monday’s earthquake was the result of “the interaction of the Cocos Plate with the North American Plate”, which also generated the 1985 earthquake.
Five plates – the North America, the Pacific, the Rivera, the Caribbean and the Cocos – all pass under Mexican territory.
“Plates break when it’s their time to break,” Pérez-Campos said. “What are they going to know about the calendar?” »
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