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Very strong M7.6 earthquake hits Colima-Michoacan bordered region, hazardous tsunami waves possible, Mexico

m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 f

A very strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.6 hit the Colima-Michoacan border region, Mexico at 18:05 UTC on September 19, 2022. The agency is reporting a depth of 15 km (9 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.6 at a depth of 25 km (15 miles).

The epicenter was located about 37.2 km (23.1 miles) SE of Aquila (population 1 740), 46.7 km (29 miles) SSW of Coalcomán de Vázquez Pallares (population 10 784), 90 km (55.9 miles) SE of Tecoman (population 85 689) and 110.3 km (68.5 miles) SSE of Colima (population 137 383), Mexico.

66 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 756 000 strong, and 1 699 000 moderate.

Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km (186 miles) of the earthquake epicenter, PTWC said.

Landslides triggered by this earthquake are estimated to be significant in number and (or) spatial extent.

Liquefaction triggered is estimated to be limited.

m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 bg
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 bgz
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued a Yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and adobe block with concrete bond beam construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis and landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Two people died in Manzanillo – one was crushed by the facade of a department store while another was found dead at a mall. One person was injured by the falling glass at one of the hospitals, the government said.

Videos on social media showed the roof of the mall collapsed into the top floor, a gym, as people yelled for help, Reuters reported.

Authorities also reported damage to several hospitals in the western state of Michoacan near the epicenter.

The quake hit on the anniversary of Mexico’s deadliest recorded earthquake-M8.1 on September 19, 1985-when more than 10 000 people lost their lives.

Interestingly, it also came exactly five years after M7.1 earthquake killed 370 people and caused extensive damage across the center and south of the country in 2017.

Another interesting note is that alarms for the new earthquake were sounded within 30 minutes after a nationwide earthquake drill marking the 1985 and 2017 quakes.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 usgs epe
m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 usgs epet

Selected cities exposed

m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 usgs sce

Regional seismicity

m7-6 mexico earthquake september 19 2022 emsc rs

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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