Mexico earthquake: 1 dead after 7.6 magnitude quake near Pacific coast in Michoacan state, officials say

MEXICO (KABC) — A 7.6 magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico’s central Pacific coast on Monday, killing at least one person and triggering an earthquake alarm in the shaken capital on the anniversary of two previous devastating quakes.

The quake struck around 11:05 a.m. at a depth of about nine miles, according to the US Geologic Survey, which initially put the magnitude at 7.5. The earthquake was centered about 23 miles southeast of Aquila, near the Colima and Michoacán state border.

The tremor triggered an earthquake alarm in the capital. Alarms for the new quake came less than an hour after an earthquake alarm sounded in a nationwide earthquake simulation marking major earthquakes that struck at the same date in 1985 and 2017.

Lucy Jones, earthquake scientist and seismologist, discusses the massive earthquake in Mexico

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said via Twitter that he was told by the Secretary of the Navy that a person had been killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima, when a wall fell inside a store.

In Coalcoman, Michoacan, near the epicenter of the quake, buildings were damaged, but no injuries were immediately reported.

A woman visiting Mexico from Los Angeles spoke to Eyewitness News about her experience, calling it scary.

“It’s a very scary feeling because you never know what’s going to end,” she said. “And then finally it starts off very lightly and then you start to feel it. Then at the end you feel like a rush when it’s about to end and that’s the scariest feeling ever. all. Is it starting again?”

“It started slow, then it was really loud and it just kept going and going until it started to calm down,” said Coalcoman resident Carla Cárdenas, 16. Cárdenas ran out of her family’s hotel and waited with neighbors.

She said the hotel and some houses along the street had cracks in the walls and segments of facades and roofs had broken off.

“In the hotel, the roof of the parking lot exploded and fell to the ground, and there are cracks in the walls of the second floor,” Cárdenas said.

She said the city hospital was badly damaged, but she had so far heard of no injuries.

Mexico’s national civil defense agency said that based on historical data from tsunamis in Mexico, variations of up to 32 inches were possible in coastal water levels near the epicenter. The US Tsunami Warning Center said dangerous tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 186 miles of the epicenter.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tweeted that no damage was reported in the capital

“It’s a coincidence,” that this was the third earthquake on September 19, said US Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle. “There is no physical reason or statistical bias toward earthquakes in any given month in Mexico.”

There is also no season or month for large earthquakes anywhere in the world, Earle said. But there is one predictable thing: people sometimes look for and find coincidences that look like patterns.

“We knew we would have this question as soon as it happened,” Earle said. “Sometimes it’s just coincidences.”

The quake was not related to or caused by the exercise about an hour earlier, or a damaging earthquake in Taiwan the previous day, Earle said.

Humberto Garza stood outside a restaurant in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood holding his 3-year-old son. Like many people walking outside after the quake, Garza said the earthquake alarm sounded so soon after the annual simulation that he wasn’t sure it was real.

“I heard the alarm, but it sounded really far away,” he said.

Outside the office of the city’s environmental ombudsman, dozens of employees were waiting. Some looked visibly shaken.

Electricity was cut in parts of the city, including red lights, rumbling the capital’s already notorious traffic.

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DEVELOPMENT: We will add more details to this report as they become available. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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