Earthquake Mexico

7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico’s Western Region

7.8-magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico’s Western Region. On September 19, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the border of Michoacan and Colima at around 1pm.

The earthquake was 9 miles deep and Mexican officials reported no immediate damage to the area, although there was at least one death due to the collapse of buildings in Colima and ten injuries in the area.

Laura Velázquez, Mexico’s National Civil Defense Coordinator, announced the casualties as well as damage reported to approximately 200 buildings, including schools and medical centers.

The earthquake was the third to strike Mexico on September 19, the previous two instances were from the previous years of 1985 and 2017.



History Repeats Itself

The earthquake hit on the 37 year anniversary of the magnitude 8.0 earthquake that was responsible for approximately 10,000 deaths and the displacement of 250,000 more.

Five years ago on the same date, more than 350 individuals died as a result of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake near the Puebla area.


7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico’s Western Region
A collapsed apartment building after the earthquake that hit Mexico in 1985. -U.S. Geological Survey.


September 19th

“It’s this date. There’s something about the 19th. The 19th is a day to be feared,” said Ernesto Lanzetta, a business owner in Mexico City. The earthquake that hit Western Mexico on September 19 has caught the attention of many.

Mexico has suffered three deadly earthquakes on that same date in three different years, in three different decades.

The latest earthquake, coincidentally shook Mexico during the country’s annual earthquake drill that commemorates the 1985 earthquake.

Yet, seismic experts commented that the September 19 earthquake is not a curse but a coincidence.  Xyoli Pérez-Campos, a seismic researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico stated,

“The plates break when it’s their time to break. What are they going to know about the calendar?”


A seismic hazard map showing the “geographic distribution” of more active fault lines. -GEM Foundation.



Mexico has five plates that are present along its territory, the North America, Cocos, Pacific, River and Caribbean plate. The country is susceptible to earthquakes and has found much of its infrastructure affected by the shakes, resulting in falling debris and partial to fully collapsed buildings.

The region felt an aftershock on Tuesday at around 1am, with a 6.8 magnitude quake hitting the same area of Michoacan. The shock was felt across Michoacan, triggering landslides across the highway that connects Michoacan to the coastal area as well as damage to buildings in Uruapan.


7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico’s Western Region
A local man walks past debris left by the earthquake on September 22nd. Image Source: Armando Solis.


Shortly after the earthquake, the Governor of the state of Michoacan Ocampo, Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla, released multiple statements assuring that relief efforts were being mobilized to affected families.


Fishermen photograph cracks on the beach following earthquake. Image- Proceso.


7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico’s Western Region

In a follow up tweet, the Governor stated, “Michoacán is strong, united and on its feet, we have close communication with the affected areas and full coordination with the Army and all government institutions.”



The Day After

The day after the earthquake, Michoacán reported various damages. The housing sector was impacted the most with at least 3,000 damaged homes, as announced by the Governor of Michoacán, Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla, during a Press conference.


Earthquake in Michoacan. Image Source- El Pais, Mexico.


According to what was reported by the authorities, a total of 3,161 homes had some damage to their structure. These houses were concentrated in 4 municipalities of the Michoacan entity: Coahuayana, 1,143 affected homes were counted, in addition to 398 of them collapsed. Aquila had 1,133 homes damaged and 400 more collapsed, while Chinicuila reported 24 homes with damage, while Coalcomán, the municipality where the epicenter of the earthquake was detected, had 63, as reported by Infobae.


Michoacan after the earthquake. Image Source- France 24.


The earthquake occurred on September 19 at around 1:05 p.m., with its epicenter in Michoacán, various residents of the state shared the post-earthquake photos on networks, showing detachment of roofs, facades, and fallen fences.


Donation Centers open to support those affected in Michoacan. Image Source: Cuarto Oscuro.


Collection Centers

The communities are coming together to support victims of the earthquake in Michoacán. Several collection centers have opened their doors.

Citizen organizations have called on the population of Michoacán to join a food collection that will be donated to those affected by the earthquakes that impacted the Sierra – Costa region of the state.

The collection centers will be available until September 30 in the municipalities of Morelia, Pátzcuaro, Erongarícuaro, Apátzingán and Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro.

Donations needed include: Blankets, clothing for adults and children, mattresses, canned food, non-perishable food, bottled water, toilet paper packets, feminine pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, brooms, flannels and brushes.

For donation sites in Michoacan, check out the list published in El Heraldo de Mexico.


Kimberly Gabriela Martinez | Immigration Writer

Kimberly is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science at UCI. She grew up in a predominantly Latinx community in Southeast LA and is the daughter of two Honduran immigrants. Having seen the obstacles that many immigrants face first-hand has inspired her to pursue a career that allows her to work directly with underserved communities. Making sure that underrepresented stories and voices are heard is important in removing the negative stigma around the immigrant community and she hopes to contribute to this change.