2017 Chiapas earthquake

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2017 Chiapas earthquake
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2017 Chiapas earthquake is located in Mesoamerica
Date7 September 2017 (2017-09-07)
Magnitude8.1 Mw
Depth69.7 km (43.3 mi)
Epicenter15°04′05″N 93°42′54″W / 15.068°N 93.715°W / 15.068; -93.715Coordinates: 15°04′05″N 93°42′54″W / 15.068°N 93.715°W / 15.068; -93.715


Countries or regions{{{countries affected}}}
Max. intensityIX (Violent)
TsunamiYes
Foreshocks1
Aftershocks846[1]
CasualtiesAt least 90[2]

On 7 September 2017 at 23.49 CDT (8 Sep 04.49 UTC), an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck the southern coast of Mexico near Chiapas.

The earthquake measured 8.1 on the moment magnitude scale and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent) and occurred near the state of Chiapas, approximately 87 kilometres (54 mi) south of Pijijiapan in the Gulf of Tehuantepec.[3][4]

The earthquake caused some buildings in Mexico City to tremble, prompting people to evacuate.[3] It also generated a tsunami with waves of 1.75 metres (5 ft 9 in) above tide level;[5] and tsunami alerts were issued for surrounding areas.[6] Mexico's president called it the strongest earthquake recorded in the country in a century.[7] It was also the second strongest recorded in the country's history, behind the magnitude 8.6 earthquake in 1787,[8] and the most intense recorded globally in 2017.[9]

Tectonic setting[edit | edit source]

The Gulf of Tehuantepec lies above the convergent boundary where the Cocos Plate is being subducted below the North American Plate at a rate of 6.4 cm/yr (2.5 in/yr).[10][11]

Background[edit | edit source]

On 6 September, several earthquake alarms in Mexico City were mistakenly activated and prompted the evacuation of buildings. The incident prompted a review of the system.[12]

Earthquake[edit | edit source]

According to the National Seismological Service (SSN) of Mexico, the epicenter was located in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, about 137 kilometres (85 mi) southeast of Tonalá, Chiapas.[13] The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the epicenter was about 87 kilometres (54 mi) southwest of Pijijiapan, Chiapas.[4] The SSN reported a measurement of M 8.2,[13] while the USGS reported a M 8.1 earthquake after correcting an earlier estimate of M 8.0.[4] The earthquake moved the fault between the Cocos and North American plates by up to 10 metres (33 ft).[14]

The earthquake is the most powerful to be measured in Mexico since the 1985 Mexico City earthquake,[15][16] and is comparable to the 1932 Jalisco earthquakes.[17] Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called the earthquake the "largest in at least a century" and claimed that it was felt by 50 million people.[7][18]

Damage[edit | edit source]

Damage to Juchitán de Zaragoza City Hall
City Hall in November 2006
City Hall on 8 September 2017

Within Chiapas, an estimated 1.5 million people were affected by the earthquake, with 41,000 homes damaged.[19][20] At least 90 people have died in the earthquake, including 71 in Oaxaca, 15 in Chiapas and 4 in Tabasco.[2] The Secretariat of the Interior declared a state of emergency for 122 municipalities in Chiapas,[21] and the Mexican Army was deployed to aid in disaster relief.[22] Schools were closed on 8 September in 11 states for safety inspections.[23] Damage in Veracruz was reported, meanwhile the state is expecting the arrival of Hurricane Katia on 9 September.[23] Buildings in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, closest to the epicenter, were "reduced to rubble" according to reports from the town's mayor.[24]

President Enrique Peña Nieto inspecting damage to a home in Juchitán, Oaxaca

The earthquake also caused buildings to shake and sway in Mexico City, while also knocking out electricity for 1.8 million people.[19][23] There were reports of glass shattered at Mexico City International Airport.[25]

The epicenter was near Mexico's border with Guatemala, where the quake was felt in Guatemala City, and infrastructure damage was reported by CONRED in the nation's south-west.[26] President Jimmy Morales stated that one Guatemalan may have been killed.[27]

Tsunami[edit | edit source]

A tsunami with waves of 1 m (3.3 ft) and higher was generated by the earthquake and was recorded at Salina Cruz;[28] A tsunami wave of 1.75 m (5.7 ft) was reported in Chiapas.[5] The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for the entire Pacific coast of Central America, also extending south to Ecuador.[7][29]

Aftershocks[edit | edit source]

In the hour following the earthquake, at least twelve aftershocks were recorded by the USGS.[30] The Servicio Sismológico Nacional[31] has recorded at least 846 aftershocks[1], of up to a magnitude of 6.1.[7][32]

# CDT time Epicenter Nearby landmarks Depth Magnitude
Main 23:49:21 15°04′05″N 93°42′54″W / 15.068°N 93.715°W / 15.068; -93.715


87 km (54 mi) southwest of Pijijiapan 69.7 km (43.3 mi) 8.1
1 0:01:38 15°52′01″N 94°05′17″W / 15.867°N 94.088°W / 15.867; -94.088


29 km (18 mi) southwest of Paredon 35 km (21.7 mi) 5.7
2 0:17:42 15°32′49″N 94°29′20″W / 15.547°N 94.489°W / 15.547; -94.489


75 km (47 mi) south-southeast of San Francisco del Mar 41.3 km (25.7 mi) 5.4
3 0:24:40 15°32′02″N 94°22′41″W / 15.534°N 94.378°W / 15.534; -94.378


77 km (48 mi) southwest of Paredon 50.5 km (31.4 mi) 5.2
4 0:33:38 15°20′42″N 94°16′19″W / 15.345°N 94.272°W / 15.345; -94.272


87 km (54 mi) south-southwest of Paredon 35.0 km (21.7 mi) 5.2
5 0:44:29 15°42′54″N 94°33′47″W / 15.715°N 94.563°W / 15.715; -94.563


58 km (36 mi) south of San Francisco del Mar 35.0 km (21.7 mi) 4.9
6 0:57:00 15°05′N 94°31′W / 15.09°N 94.52°W / 15.09; -94.52


137 km (85 mi) southeast of Tonalá 21.0 km (13.0 mi) 5.1
7 1:08:47 15°27′N 94°47′W / 15.45°N 94.78°W / 15.45; -94.78


92 km (57 mi) southeast of Salina Cruz 10.0 km (6.2 mi) 5.0
8 2:38:38 15°31′N 94°50′W / 15.52°N 94.83°W / 15.52; -94.83


83 km (52 mi) southeast of Salina Cruz 50.0 km (31.1 mi) 5.3
9 2:59:57 15°35′N 94°55′W / 15.58°N 94.91°W / 15.58; -94.91


73 km (45 mi) southeast of Salina Cruz 50.0 km (31.1 mi) 5.2
10 3:34:34 15°10′N 94°20′W / 15.17°N 94.33°W / 15.17; -94.33


130 km (81 mi) southeast of Tonalá 16.0 km (9.9 mi) 5.9
11 6:25:56 15°54′N 95°07′W / 15.90°N 95.11°W / 15.90; -95.11


32 km (20 mi) southeast of Salina Cruz 59.0 km (36.7 mi) 5.0
12 6:43:07 15°50′N 95°02′W / 15.83°N 95.04°W / 15.83; -95.04


42 km (26 mi) southeast of Salina Cruz 59.0 km (36.7 mi) 5.2
2017 Chiapas earthquake and aftershocks
Graph of earthquakes by magnitude 
Map of earthquakes
Red marks earthquakes over Mw 8.0 and orange over Mw 5.0. 

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 SSNMexico (10 September 2017). "Hasta las 12 am se han registrado 846 réplicas del sismo ocurrido el 2017-09-07 a las 23:49 y localizado en las costas de Chiapas (M 8.2)" (Tweet). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Impacto del terremoto de 8.2 Richter en México: 90 muertos, decenas de heridos e intensas labores de rescate". Univision (in Spanish). 8 September 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Earthquake of magnitude 8.1 strikes off Mexico's Pacific coast". BBC News. 8 September 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41197831. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "M 8.1 – 87 km SW of Pijijiapan, Mexico". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (8 September 2017). "Tsunami Message Number 17". Ewa Beach, Hawaii: National Weather Service. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  6. "Tsunami Message Number 5 (0653 UTC Fri Sep 8 2017)". National Weather Service (United States). 8 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Graham, Chris; Johnson, Jamie; Strange, Hannah; Badcock, James (8 September 2017). "Mexico hit by 'strongest earthquake in a century' as magnitude 8.2 tremor triggers tsunami waves – latest news". The Telegraph. 
  8. Richard Hartley, Parkinson (8 September 2017). "Most powerful earthquake in 230 years hits Mexico sparking tsunami". Metro. http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/08/tsunami-warning-as-magnitude-8-earthquake-rocks-mexico-6911929/. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  9. "World – M7+ in 2017". earthquake.usgs.gov. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  10. Singh, S.K.; M. Ordaz; L. Alcantara; N. Shapiro; V. Kostoglodov; J. F. Pacheco; S. Alcocer; C. Gutierrez et al. (2000). "The Oaxaca earthquake of 30 September 1999 (MW = 7.5)". Seismological Research Letters 71 (1): 67–78. doi:10.1785/gssrl.71.1.67. http://usuarios.geofisica.unam.mx/vladimir/papers_pdf/Singh_etal_SRL_2000.pdf. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  11. Taylor, Adam (8 September 2017). "Mexico's cataclysmic history of earthquakes". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/08/mexicos-worrying-history-of-earthquakes/. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  12. "Se activa, por error, alerta sísmica en CDMX; descartan sismo [Seismic alert in CDMX is activated by mistake; disregard earthquake]" (in Spanish). El Universal. 6 September 2017. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/metropoli/cdmx/se-activa-por-error-alerta-sismica-en-cdmx-descartan-sismo. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Reporte de Sismo: Sismo del día 07 de Septiembre de 2017, Chiapas (M 8.2)" [Earthquake Report: Earthquake of 7 September 2017, Chiapas (M 8.2)] (PDF) (in Spanish). National Seismological Service. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  14. Osborne, Hannah (8 September 2017). "Biggest earthquake to hit Mexico in over a century moved fault by 32 feet". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/mexico-earthquake-biggest-century-seismologist-aftershocks-661919. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  15. Linthicum, Kate; Lin II, Rong-Gong (8 September 2017). "Mexican authorities report an 8.4 earthquake off southern coast, raising tsunami fears". The Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-me-earthquake-mexico-8-20170907-story.html. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  16. Schladebeck, Jessica (8 September 2017). "Mexico hit by 8.4 earthquake, tsunami warnings issued". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/mexico-hit-8-0-earthquake-tsunamis-article-1.3479356. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  17. Lafuente, Javier (8 September 2017). "Un fuerte terremoto sacude el sur de México [A strong earthquake shakes southern Mexico]" (in Spanish). El País (Madrid). https://elpais.com/internacional/2017/09/08/actualidad/1504847379_494928.html. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  18. Partlow, Joshua (8 September 2017). "At least 58 killed in massive earthquake off Mexico coast". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/massive-earthquake-strikes-off-the-coast-of-mexico-setting-off-tsunami-warnings/2017/09/08/c8114f3a-945b-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3_story.html. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Death toll rises to 60 in powerful Mexico earthquake". Associated Press. 9 September 2017. https://apnews.com/b7d17e0dbbff48a381a58b64353abe23/Death-toll-rises-to-60-in-powerful-Mexico-earthquake. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  20. "Thousands of homes wrecked by huge Mexican quake, death toll at 90". Reuters. 10 September 2017. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-quake-mexico/thousands-of-homes-wrecked-by-huge-mexican-quake-death-toll-at-90-idUSKCN1BL06A. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  21. Mandujano, Isaín (8 September 2017). "La Segob declara "emergencia extraordinaria" en 122 municipios de Chiapas por sismo [Secretariat of the Interior declares "extraordinary emergency" in 122 Chiapas municipalities after earthquake]" (in Spanish). Proceso. http://www.proceso.com.mx/502358/la-segob-declara-emergencia-extraordinaria-en-122-municipios-chiapas-sismo. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  22. Garcia, Dennis A. (8 September 2017). "Sedena aplica Plan DN-III-E en Chiapas y Oaxaca [Sedena applies DN-III-E plan in Chiapas and Oaxaca]" (in Spanish). El Universal. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/seguridad/sedena-aplica-plan-plan-dn-iii-e-en-chiapas-y-oaxaca. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Sherman, Cristopher; Castillo, Eduardo (8 September 2017). "'The house moved like chewing gum': Dozens killed in Mexico earthquake as country braces for hurricane". The National Post. Associated Press (Toronto). http://nationalpost.com/news/world/newsalert-earthquake-measuring-8-0-strikes-off-southern-mexico. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  24. Cortes, Jose (8 September 2017). "At least 58 die in Mexico's strongest quake in 85 years". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-quake-mexico/at-least-58-die-in-mexicos-strongest-quake-in-85-years-idUSKCN1BJ0FW. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  25. Malkin, Elisabeth; Ramzy, Austin (8 September 2017). "Mexico Earthquake, at 8.1 Magnitude, Is Felt for Hundreds of Miles". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/world/americas/mexico-earthquake.html?mcubz=3. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  26. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named guatemala
  27. Linthicum, Kate; Sanchez, Cecilia (8 September 2017). "From toppled buildings to at least 32 deaths, Mexico's most powerful quake in years prompts chaos". The Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-mexico-earthquake-20170908-story.html. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  28. "Mexico earthquake: mass evacuations after strongest tremor in a century". The Guardian. 8 September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/08/mexico-earthquake-warning-tsunami. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  29. "At least six die in huge Mexico quake, small tsunami triggered – Video". Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  30. Malkin, Elisabeth; Ramzy, Austin (8 September 2017). "Strong Earthquake Hits Off Mexico’s Coast". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/world/americas/mexico-earthquake.html?_r=0. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  31. Nacional, Servicio Sismológico. "Servicio Sismológico Nacional". www.ssn.unam.mx. 
  32. "Suman 337 réplicas tras sismo; la mayor de 6.1 grados [Up to 337 aftershocks after earthquake; no greater than 6.1]" (in Spanish). El Diario de El Paso. 8 September 2017. http://diario.mx/Nacional/2017-09-08_254f675b/suman-337-replicas-tras-sismo-la-mayor-de-61-grados/. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 

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