September 20, 2017

MEXICO: A Powerful 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Struck The Heart Of Mexico Right In The Center Yesterday. Massive Damage Throughout And Over 200 Lives Lost. :(

Yahoo news
written by Sky News staff
Wednesday September 20, 2017

More than 200 people have been killed in an earthquake in central Mexico - including at least 21 children whose school collapsed on them.

Dozens of buildings has been reduced to rubble, forcing thousands of volunteers and emergency personnel to scrabble through the debris in a frantic search for survivors.

The 7.1-magnitude quake hit hours after preparation drills were held on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in Mexico City.

The death toll has yo-yoed as authorities have struggled to keep up with the number of bodies being brought into hospitals and morgues.

But the latest official figures put the number of dead at 216, with fears it could rise further as more bodies are discovered.

At the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, 25 bodies - all but four of them children - have been recovered, the federal education department said.

Thirty children and eight children are still missing.

A volunteer rescuer managed to squeeze into a classroom after teams created a cavity into the ruins of the building. He found four bodies, but no survivors.

There have been reports of trapped children send WhatsApp messages from underneath the rubble .

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has visited the school, appealed for calm, saying: "The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people."

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said Tuesday's quake was centred near Raboso in Puebla state, 76 miles (123km) southeast of Mexico City, but the shaking in the capital was almost as intense.

:: Why are there so many earthquakes in Mexico?

Panicked workers fled from office buildings and clouds of dust rose up from the crumbling facades of damaged buildings as the quake struck.

Amid the screams and shock, terrified parents ran to cradle their children in the worst affected areas of Roma, Condesa and Doctores.

At patches of rubble where floors had pancaked on top of one another, cheers and applause occasionally broke out as rescuers pulled people to safety.

At others, signs saying "silencio" were held up as emergency personnel thrust themselves into hollows in the debris as they tried to hear if anyone was trapped.

One of those rescued, Alma Gonzalez, said: "It was a very hard hit that went down and then I went to find my child and I couldn't so I started to WhatsApp and I was trapped on the third floor... and the people in the house next door helped me get out with a ladder... I am just grateful to God that we are here for something."

Officials asked people not to smoke in the streets of Mexico City - which has a population of 20 million - warning of possible ruptured gas pipes.

Mexico City International Airport suspended operations, while electricity and phone lines were down in parts of the capital.

The earthquake came less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude tremor in southern Mexico killed at least 98 people.

Amid the latest quake, the Popocatepetl volcano near the capital had a small eruption, flattening a church on its southern slopes and killing 15 people attending a mass.
Discover Magazine
written by Erik Klemetti
Tuesday September 19, 2017

For the second time this month, a large earthquake has struck Mexico. Unlike the M8.1 earthquake that occurred off the Pacific coast and far from Mexico City, this one was located under central Mexico and only ~150 kilometers from the massive Mexican capital. This new earthquake was a M7.1 located ~51 kilometers beneath the surface. That will hopefully help dampen some of the potential damage as over 8.5 million people live within 100 kilometers of this temblor. UPDATE: The death toll is now over 100 from the earthquake.

Some fires have already been reported due to the earthquake damage. This video shows people outside after early warning alarms went off. The earthquake strikes about ~20 seconds into the video, when you can hear windows cracking and shaking of the building:
Here’s a stunning video of a building shaking taken by someone on the 38th floor of a building in Mexico City:
Now, it is unclear what the casualties might be, but it looks like significant damage has happened in Mexico City. People have been tweeting video from building in Mexico City showing billowing clouds of dust or smoke that could be from damaged buildings.
Now, it is way too early to say that this earthquake was triggered by the M8.1 that occurred earlier in the month. There could be the chance that the previous earthquake added more stress to a fault that was close to rupture. However, it will take time to determine if this was actually the case. Check out some of the discussion of triggering earthquakes on this USGS page.

Shockingly enough, today is the 32nd anniversary of the disastrous 1985 M8 earthquake that was centered about as far from the city as this one was today. Just hours earlier, people had participated in earthquake drills in memory of that earthquake, which killed at least 5,000 people.

I’ll update this post as new information comes in, but as with many large earthquakes, the region should expect aftershocks.

UPDATE: this video of an amusement park near Mexico City show how surface waves translated into water waves and just how much shaking there was.
UPDATE: Initial analysis of the earthquake seem to indicate that it was potentially caused by the same process that caused the M8.1 earlier in the month. The oceanic plate slab diving underneath Mexico appears to have “cracked”, causing an extensional earthquake.

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