April 2016 – MEXICO – A magnitude-6.0 earthquake rocked Mexico’s southern coast on Wednesday, but no injuries or damage were reported, the National Seismology Service said. “After monitoring all of the state, no effects have been detected so far from the earthquake that occurred a few minutes ago,” the Chiapas state emergency management office said in a Twitter post. The epicenter of the earthquake, which hit at 7:51 a.m., was in the Pacific about 122 kilometers (nearly 76 miles) southwest of Huixtla, a town in Chiapas, and at a depth of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles).
The inspection protocol for natural disasters has been activated, the emergency management office said. Mexico, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.
The Cocos tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which has a population of 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco. In September 2015, Mexico City’s government activated the Seismic Warning System to mark the 30th anniversary of the temblor that devastated the capital. The magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City on Sept. 19, 1985, was the most destructive to ever hit Mexico, killing some 10,000 people, injuring more than 40,000 others and leaving 80,000 people homeless. –LAHT