On September 19, Mexico is hit by a strong earthquake for the third time. There are deaths, damage and panic. Federal President Steinmeier will be visiting the country from Tuesday.
Mexico City – September 19th again: At least two people died in a violent earthquake in Mexico. The country’s seismological institute gave the strength on Monday (local time) as 7.7, the US agency USGS as 7.6.
Shortly after an emergency drill to mark the anniversary of the catastrophic 2017 and 1985 tremors, people ran to safety. A tsunami warning was in effect at times.
1.4 million households temporarily without electricity
According to the USGS, the center of the earthquake was southeast of the city of Aquila in the western state of Michoacán. There was panic and damage to buildings, especially on the Pacific coast. The power went out temporarily in around 1.4 million households. In the capital, Mexico City, where Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was expected to visit on Tuesday, the damage was limited.
A woman was killed by falling parts of a building in the port city of Manzanillo in the state of Colima, the Mexican government said. A man buried by rubble also died there. Hours of salvage attempts were unsuccessful, reported the local civil defense. According to local media, the man was in a gym when the earthquake struck at 1:05 p.m. local time.
In Colima, three people were injured in a gas explosion, and another person was injured by broken glass in a hospital in Michoacán. According to civil protection, more than 48 million people in the country, which has 126 million inhabitants, felt the earthquake.
September 19 as a sad date
September 19 is a sad date in Mexico: 37 years ago, an earthquake struck Mexico City on this day, killing thousands of people. The earth shook again on September 19, 2017 – 369 people died, 228 of them in Mexico City.
In the hours following Monday’s quake, there were more than 500 aftershocks, the most severe measuring 5.3. Engineers and technical teams in the most affected areas, the states of Colima and Michoacán, are checking the condition of buildings and infrastructure, the Mexican government said. According to the Mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, no serious damage was initially reported there.
Media such as the broadcaster Televisa and the newspaper “El Universal” reported damage elsewhere. A hospital in the Maruata community of Michoacán was badly damaged and patients were evacuated. School classes were also suspended in Colima on Tuesday to check the state of the schools.
Earthquake alerts went off in Mexico City, 45 minutes after a nationwide afternoon disaster response drill on the 5th and 37th anniversaries of the 2017 and 1985 earthquakes.
However, experts ruled out a connection between the three earthquakes and the date. That was just an “unpleasant coincidence,” said researcher Víctor Hugo Espíndola of the National Seismological Institute.
The entire west coast of South, Central and North America lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire. This is the most geologically active region in the world. 90 percent of all earthquakes worldwide occur there. dpa