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Seismic zone worries about Mexico hit by the earthquake

Workers remove rocks from highways after an earthquake near Acapulco, a resort in the Pacific Ocean of Mexico.

A magnitude 7.1 quake that struck southern Mexico this week occurred near some of the faults that experts fear have increased tensions for over a century.


A powerful quake near the Pacific resort city of Acapulco on Tuesday killed at least one person and damaged hospitals, homes, shops and hotels.

Mexico is located in the world’s most seismic and volcanic region known as the Ring of Fire, where the Pacific Plate meets its surroundings. Structural plate..

On September 19, 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake destroyed Mexico City, killing more than 10,000 people and destroying hundreds of buildings.

On the anniversary of the 2017 earthquake, the 7.1 earthquake killed about 370 people, mainly in the capital.

Where did the recent earthquake occur?

The epicenter was located 11 km (7 miles) southeast of Acapulco, Guerrero, the National Earthquake Bureau reported.

This area is vulnerable Seismic activity This is because Coco’s and North American structural plates rub against each other.

“Undersea Cocos Plate is always trying to push under North America, the continent plate It is where most of Mexico’s territory is located, “said Arturoiglesias, head of national seismology services.

Mexican structural plate

A map of Mexico showing five structural plates.

Within this zone is what is called the Guerrero Gap. It is part of a fault that extends along the coast from Acapulco, 230 km northwest, to the town of Papanoa.

The quake gap is described by the US Geological Survey as part of a fault that has caused quakes in the past but is now quiet.

Why is it raising concerns?

It is not possible to predict an earthquake, but it is a cause for concern as the guerrero gap has not caused a significant earthquake since 1911.

“In the area off Guerrero, big earthquake For a long time. ” Ana Maria Soller, an expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said.

“There is no certainty. These are all statistical issues,” she added.

Iglesias said 110 years have passed since the guerrero gap caused a major earthquake.

“They usually occur every 30 to 50 years, which is already more,” he said.

Pacific Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire volcanic zone.

What can happen?

Experts are reluctant to make predictions, but they believe that large earthquakes, or some small earthquakes, can occur in the zone.

“The northwestern end of the gap was already broken by the 2014 earthquake, so what’s left earthquake It’s up to a magnitude of 7.8, but it could be a smaller quake, “said Iglesias.

He said tremors in the area may also occur less frequently than originally thought.

Mexico City, along with the surrounding urban areas, is home to more than 20 million people and is considered vulnerable to earthquakes in the Guerrero Gap.

The capital is located on the bottom of the former lake and is equipped with an early warning system using seismic monitors aimed at giving residents ample time to evacuate the building.

“It is well known that this area (guerrero gap) has great potential for earthquakes,” Iglesias said.

“There is even an early warning system in Mexico City,” he added.


A major earthquake in Mexico caused damage and killed one person


© 2021 AFP

Quote: The seismic zone worried about Mexico (September 9, 2021), which was hit by the earthquake, is from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-seismic-zone-quake-hit-mexico.html Obtained September 9, 2021

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Seismic zone worries about Mexico hit by the earthquake

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