Mexico’s Earthquakes in Fall 2017

Kara Puszko '18, Features Editor

In September 2017, Mexico has had 337 earthquakes, the most dangerous being an 8.1 magnitude quake on September 8th in El Palmarcito, Chipas, Mexico. The earthquakes result from the collision of five tectonic plates underneath Mexico, making it one of the most unstable areas on the planet. Experts have named it the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a 25,000 mile area shaped like a horseshoe. Though the area is known to be dangerous, it is extremely difficult to issue a warning. Behzad Fatahi, associate professor of geotechnical and earthquake engineering at the University of Technology Sydney stated, “Earthquakes start deep in the ground and move so fast — 50 times faster than a Category 5 hurricane — so it’s almost impossible to issue a warning well in advance.” Due to unstable infrastructure, nearly 100 people have died from the 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

Millions were forced to leave their homes and relocate to shelters across Mexico. Nearly 2,000 historic buildings and churches were damaged, resulting in the demolition of many.  Rescuers continue to search through the rubble to make sure no one else is missing. Over 9,000 schools are still closed, and governments are uncertain when they will reopen. Hopefully citizens will be able to resume the life as they knew it before these devastating earthquakes.