7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico

A massive earthquake struck Mexico’s southern coast in late June, registering a 7.4 magnitude quake that prompted evacuations. The incident killed at least five people as buildings collapsed in the region.

Health services from the state of Oaxaca reported that several hospitals in the region sustained damage because of the earthquake. Two of the facilities affected by this incident were treating confirmed COVID-19 patients.

People as far away as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala reported feeling the earthquake. Its epicenter was approximately 190 miles south of Mexico City, where sirens wailed in response to the land movements.

Tsunami Warnings Were Briefly Issued

The magnitude of the earthquake caused tsunami warnings to be issued along the southern Mexico coast initially. Early estimates suggested that waves higher than 3.3 feet could come into the shore. Observers in Salina Cru and Acapulco noted waves of more than two feet instead.

Overall, the damage experienced in Oaxaca is considered light to moderate, although several buildings did collapse during the incident. The initial estimate of repairs was less than $100 million.

Mexico is one of the world’s most active areas for earthquakes because of its position along the Pacific Ring of Fire. The country has a long history of managing devastating seismic events. It sits on top of three significant tectonic plates that experience volcanic eruptions and regular movement.

Two earthquakes hit Mexico in 2017, with the strongest reaching a magnitude 8.1. That incident cracked highways and toppled several structures.

How to Survive an Earthquake

If you are inside of a building during an earthquake, drop to the ground immediately. Find cover underneath a sturdy table or another furniture item. Try to stay away from any walls, windows, or glass that could shatter to cause an injury. Stay put into all of the shaking stops.

When you are outside during an earthquake, don’t try to run. Move into an open area away from trees or buildings that could fall if possible. Power lines, broken water pipes, or cracked gas mains could all cause problems after the seismic event.