More Earthquakes in Mexico
September 19, 2017
Yesterday more earthquakes in Mexico rocked the central state of Puebla and part of the nation’s capital, Mexico City. The largest of the day occurred just after lunch local time. Close to Puebla it registered a magnitude of 7.1 on the Richter scale. Seismologist John Vidale, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), stated that the impact was amplified under Mexico City as much of that metropolis is built on a reclaimed lake bed which is still very soft and wet. During an earthquake such as the one yesterday, the ground underneath Mexico City liquifies and, as a result, shakes more intensely, like gelatin.
Is Rancho Las Cascadas Safe?
We are located to the northwest of both epicenters by hundreds of miles. We felt nothing during the time of either quake. But our hearts are with all of those caught up the devastation left behind these natural disasters.
Can an earthquake happen here? As you can see in the graphic all the movement is due to a tectonic plate hundreds of miles away from us. (Thanks to Sciency Thoughts for the image.) We are also not perched on a shaky reclaimed lake bed like Mexico City is. The ground upon which we sit is solid.
For a short while after the quake the Mexico City airport was closed. This was a precautionary measure. It reopened within hours. What does this mean for future travelers? To get to us, many of you will fly into Mexico City. The MEX airport is located to the west of the city and is not built on the lake-bed much of the rest of the city is. Book a ride directly up to the ranch before you leave home and our driver will be waiting for you when you land! You can also fly in to the airport in Queretero (QRO) and we can pick you up from there as a second option.
Cocos Plate Movement
This was the second earthquake in two weeks in the general vicinity. Both were caused by movement along the Cocos Plate and therefore caused much mayhem. This tectonic plate is one of three that converge under the landmass we know as Mexico and Central America. The Cocos plate originates out in the Pacific ocean. It is very slowly (3 inches per year) ducking down underneath the North American plate to the east.
Yesterday’s quake was caused by a sudden crumbling of part of the Cocos Plate rather than the more typical slipping. A much larger magnitude 8.1-earthquake struck two weeks ago, also from the crumpling of the Cocos Plate. It struck Mexico 400 miles to the southeast and offshore, not far from Guatemala. For information on these geologic activities see this entry on the Cocos Plate at wikipedia.
The People Impacted
Reports coming in state that over 200 people died in yesterday’s earthquake. Luis Felipe Puente, the country’s civil protection coordinator, said that more than half the dead were found in Mexico City and nearby Morelos State.
How You Can Help
Donate what you can
In addition to love and good wishes, there are some dedicated support services ready to help out. You can support organizations like UNICEF Mexico with monetary donations and support.
There’s a big need for clothes, water, and food. Giving to places like the Red Cross Mexico, Oxfam Mexico, and Save the Children Mexico is a way to get resources flowing. Additionally, smaller nonprofits like Project Paz are also collecting donations for earthquake relief.
A local rescue brigade, Topos Mexico, was huge part of efforts back in 1985 and is hard at work with the latest earthquakes and taking donations.
What We Are Doing
Besides several monetary donations, we have also pledged to provide housing to a team of building evaluation experts during their stay. They will be assessing the safety of damaged buildings throughout Mexico City. They will provide much needed expertise and documentation to the job of renovating what can be saved and rebuilding what is no longer structurally viable.