Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake Strikes Oaxaca, Mexico
A magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck in the Mexican state of Oaxaca Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at 12:02 p.m., local time at the epicenter. It was followed by a subsequent M-5.1 earthquake at 12:35 p.m. local time.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 12 miles (20 km) and caused moderate shaking in Acapulco and Oaxaca. As of 3:13p.m. ET, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued no warning of tsunami activity.
The current version of the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) estimate is that economic losses are most likely to be in the $10-100 million range, and fatalities are equally likely to be in the 10-100 range.
The earthquake struck in the southwestern part of Mexico between Acapulco and Oaxaca. As of this writing, 859 people in 144 cities throughout Mexico and the surrounding region had responded on the USGS Did You Feel It? website.
History of strong earthquakes
Mexico is one of the most tectonically active countries in the world, and it experiences frequent significant earthquakes. This earthquake is a reminder of the many seismic events that Mexico has experienced in the recent past.
- The most recent significant earthquake to strike Oaxaca was a M-6.5 that struck on Tuesday, February 12, 2008.
- The most recent significant earthquake to strike Mexico was a M-7.2 that struck in Baja California on Sunday, April 4, 2010. There were two confirmed fatalities and 233 injured in the Mexicali area.
- In September 1985, an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale and centered in the subduction zone off Acapulco killed more than 4,000 people in Mexico City, more than 300 kilometers away.