Earthquake Strikes Mexico; One Reported Death

Mexican citizens of Acapulco are facing the aftermath of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday night. First categorized as a 7.4 but later downgraded, the quake has destroyed buildings and taken one life.

The earthquake hit 11 miles northeast of the resort of Acapulco, Guerrero, on Tuesday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Mexico’s seismological service measured the tremor at a magnitude of 7.1.

It was relatively shallow, being only 7.8 miles below the surface, which amplified the shaking effect.

The U.S. tsunami warning center issued an advisory following the tremor, stating that hazardous waves were probable within 185 miles of the quake’s epicenter. The threat had passed, according to the agency’s later update.

Citizens of Acapulco took to the streets for safety amidst the chaos. In a video posted on Twitter, people can be seen holding each other while another man takes a wide stance to maintain balance. Some people laughed and enjoyed the light show that accompanied the quake, while others screamed and prayed for their lives.

Another video shows people in a cable car violently swaying while suspended in the air. The footage cuts to the people inside the vehicle, who appear calm and collected, except for one woman who is off camera and sobbing.

Many more videos of strange lights in the sky and different perspectives flooded Twitter as users tagged their post “Apocalipsis” — the Spanish word for apocalypse. A Twitter user posted several pictures of what appears to be orange lightning, an incredible sight.

The scientific community isn’t sold on the phenomena, though they have some theories about the luminosity. Theories for what researchers call earthquake lights include friction between moving rocks, creating electrical activity.

The only life lost was a person who died after being struck by a post, said the governor of Guerrero state, Hector Astudillo. There were currently no reports of serious damage.

Acapulco is roughly 230 miles from Mexico City. Residents in that area felt the waves of the earthquake enough for citizens to flee their homes until the coast was clear. The Mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, said there were no immediate reports of significant damage in the capital.

Mexico sits atop five tectonic plates, including three large ones making it one of the most seismically active places globally.

 

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