Sep 20, 2022
7.6 magnitude earthquake hits Mexico on anniversary of two previous massive earthquakes Transcript
A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico early Monday, causing tsunami fears and at least one death, on the anniversary of two other massive and deadly earthquakes in the same area. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Powerful earthquake rocked Mexico’s southwest coast today. The earthquake struck this afternoon in the State of Michoacan, but could be felt as far away as Mexico City. As KCAL 9’s Joy Benedict reports, today’s quake arrived on the anniversary of two earlier devastating quakes.
Speaker 2: (00:20)
Oh, (beep). Oh, my God. Everything’s really flying around.
Joy Benedict: (00:22)
From hotel rooms in Puerto Vallarta to the streets of Mexico City, a 7.6 magnitude quake left everyone shaken.
Speaker 4: (00:33)
[foreign language 00:00:33].
Joy Benedict: (00:34)
The earthquake struck just after 1:00 in the afternoon local time near Colima, that’s more than 200 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, 400 miles west of Mexico City on the coast. But the alarms still went off in both cities.
Speaker 5: (00:49)
It’s going to be okay.
Joy Benedict: (00:50)
Social media lit up with signs shaking at the airport, equipment in the offices moving, and people hugging, waiting for it to stop.
Allen Husker: (01:00)
We have an earthquake in Mexico on average about 1.6 years, give or take.
Joy Benedict: (01:07)
Allen Husker is a professor of geophysics at Caltech, and he was in Mexico for the earthquake in 2017 that killed 370 people. It happened on the exact same day, September 19th.
Allen Husker: (01:21)
It was everything, scary, exciting. I’m a scientist, and so I love to study these things. So that’s the excitement part. It caused lots of damage and people were hurt. And it was difficult. People managed to get through it.
Joy Benedict: (01:34)
And of course, on September 19th, 1985, an earthquake in Mexico killed 5,000.
Allen Husker: (01:41)
Since 1985, it happened now three times in this one day. It is just an unusual coincidence.
Joy Benedict: (01:47)
Some were at a memorial praying when today’s earthquake struck. So far, only one person has died and the damage appears to be minimal, something Dr. Husker credits to the fact that this earthquake was further from the city and the fact that the buildings are built differently now.
Allen Husker: (02:04)
In Mexico City, it was very far from the city. And so I wouldn’t expect very much damage. I haven’t heard much at this point. Certainly, nothing like it was in 2017.
Joy Benedict: (02:15)
Mexico sits on three large tectonic plates, making it one of the world’s most seismically active regions.
Allen Husker: (02:23)
It’s in the subduction zone. And what that means is basically one tectonic plate is pushing into another tectonic plate and moving beneath it and rubbing against it.
Joy Benedict: (02:30)
But of course, when things start moving, knowing it could happen is never the same as feeling it.
Allen Husker: (02:37)
I think it gives us a chance just to reflect here in California and remember we’re in earthquake country and certainly can happen anytime here as well.
Joy Benedict: (02:44)
Joy Benedict, KCAL 9 News.