Investigating Mexico Earthquakes


In a period of 12 days, Mexico has been hit by two deadly earthquakes that have left hundreds of people dead. Moreover, these earthquakes have crumpled buildings and left thousands of people homeless. People who failed to leave the crumbled buildings are the ones that were most affected. The first earthquake hit before the midnight of 7th September. This was the most powerful Mexico earthquake in 100 years as it had a magnitude of 8.1. The earthquake is said to have destroyed the southern part of the country as the epicenter of the earthquake was on the Pacific coast. 12 days later, another earthquake hit the nation this time with a magnitude of 7.1. This is an earthquake that hit the country in the Southeast region of Mexico City which is approximately 100 miles away. Moreover, this earthquake decided to hit the country when the country was commemorating the 32 anniversary of an earthquake that hit the country in 1985 killing close to 11,000 people. According to seismic scientists, the occurrence of subsequent earthquakes is a common thing. They also say that this is usually caused by nearby stresses. However, scientists in Mexico are not sure whether this was the case. The New York Times decided to do an investigation about how earthquakes manifest themselves and their strength.

Scientists say that Mexico lies in a subduction zone which makes it prone to these earthquakes including the ones that they experienced this month. For starters, a subduction zone can be explained as a region of the earth’s crust where there is a crust that is often sliding under another crust. The case for Mexico is quite self-explanatory as there is an oceanic plate that’s always on action against a continental plate. The oceanic plate is referred to as the Cocos while the continental plate is often referred to the North American Plate. Scientists then say that stress accumulates over time because of the friction between these two slabs. When the strain is too much to bear, it’s usually released as an earthquake. Geologists claim that there is a subduction zone that stretches from Panama to Central America. This is according to research geophysicist known as Gavin Hayes who works with the Geographical Survey of the United States. Mr. Hayes also claims that other powerful earthquakes have been as a result of the subduction zones. He further notes that subduction zones are the only areas that can produce earthquakes that are as strong as 9.0 like the one experienced in Japan in 2011.

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Haley is a journalist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She has held many editorial roles at a number of high-profile publishers – both offline as well as online.