Magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocks Mexico

Image capture from video by Victor Meza via Facebook
  • A magnitude 7.2 earthquake has struck Mexico on Friday night
  • There were no immediate reports of loss of lives or injuries, only ‘material damage’
  • Also, there was no tsunami warning from the quake

A powerful magnitude 7.2 has jolted the southern and central part of Mexico on Friday night, February 16 (US Time), shaking building and causing panic among residents including office workers in the capital Mexico City.

The tremor was initially measured at magnitude 7.5, but later lowered to 7.2 by the US Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter was recorded around 2 kilometers southeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state with a depth of 43 kilometers.

According to USGS, the quake “occurred as a result of shallow thrust faulting on or near the plate boundary between the Cocos and North America plates.”

“The depth and focal mechanism solutions of the event are consistent with its occurrence on the subduction zone interface between these plates, approximately 90 km northeast of the Middle America Trench, where the Cocos plate begins its descent into the mantle beneath Mexico. In the region of this earthquake, the Cocos plate moves approximately northeastward at a rate of 60 mm/yr,” said USGS.

There were no immediate reports of loss of human life or injuries except for ‘material damage’ to buildings and structures.

Panic briefly gripped frightened residents of Mexico City and nearby towns until the earthquake warning systems went off. There is no tsunami warning brought by the tremor, as confirmed by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

In September last year, Mexico City was hit by two successive earthquakes – in September 8 and 19 – killing at least 306 people.

Videos uploaded on Facebook by residents: