Strong magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck offshore Chiapas, Mexico

strong-magnitude-6-3-earthquake-struck-offshore-chiapas-mexico

A strong earthquake magnitude 6.3 at a depth of 79.5 km (49.4 miles) has hit the mexican coast of Chiapas on January 21st at 18:47:15 UTC according to USGS. The epicenter was 91 km (56 miles) West of Tapachula,  143 km (88 miles) SouthEast of Tonala and 811 km (503 miles) SouthEast of Mexico City (14.963°N, 93.087°W). The epicenter was 281 km (174.6 miles) away from Guatemala City.So far, no damage reported.

EMSC registered magnitude 6.3 at depth of 68 km INSIVUMEH reported magnitude 5.8 at depth of 14.4 km (8.9 miles).

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale and centered in the subduction zone off Acapulco at Michoacan killed more than 9500 people, 4000 in Mexico City only, more than 300 kilometers away. The earthquake has been felt as a light shaking in a wide area in Mexico.

Most of the Mexican landmass rests on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor off southern Mexico, however, is being carried northeast by the underlying motion of the Cocos plate. The ocean floor is forced under the landmass, creating the deep Middle American trench that lies off Mexico’s southern coast. The westward moving land atop the North American plate is slowed and crumpled where it meets the Cocos plate, creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico. The subduction of the Cocos plate accounts for the frequency of earthquakes near Mexico’s southern coast. As the rocks constituting the ocean floor are forced down, they melt, and the molten material is forced up through weaknesses in the surface rock, creating the volcanoes in the Cordillera Neovolcánica across central Mexico.

BIGGEST EARTHQUAKES IN MEXICO:

  • 1887 05 03 – Northern Sonora, Mexico – M 7.4 
  • 1907 04 15 – Guerrero, Mexico – M 7.7
  • 1911 06 07 – Off Guerrero, Mexico – M 7.7
  • 1931 01 15 – Oaxaca, Mexico – M 7.8
  • 1932 06 03 – Jalisco, Mexico – M 8.1
  • 1932 06 18 – Colima, Mexico – M 7.8
  • 1957 07 28 – Guerrero, Mexico – M 7.9 
  • 1962 05 11 – Guerrero, Mexico – M 7.0
  • 1962 05 19 – Guerrero, Mexico – M 7.1
  • 1965 08 23 – Oaxaca, Mexico – M 7.3 
  • 1968 08 02 – Oaxaca, Mexico – M 7.1
  • 1985 09 19 – Michoacan, Mexico – M 8.0 
  • 1999 06 15 – Central Mexico – M 7.0
  • 1999 09 30 – Oaxaca, Mexico – M 7.5
  • 2003 01 22 – Offshore Colima, Mexico – M 7.6  
  • 2010 04 04 – Baja California, Mexico – M 7.2  

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