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On the 19th of September, 2022, at 18:05:08 UTC a magnitude M7.6 earthquake occurred in the Michoacan region of Mexico. The earthquake struck approximately 110 km SE of the city of Colima (pop: 150,000), with the red circle indicating the epicentre on the map below. USGS reports the earthquake originated at a depth of 15 kilometers. At the time of writing the earthquake caused at least 2 deaths.
Tectonically, southern Mexico lies along the boundary between the North American plate and Cocos plate to the south. The subduction of the Cocos plate beneath the North American plate results in many large earthquakes in this region. Coincidentally, two other major earthquakes occurred in this region on the same date: the devastating M8.0 Mexico City earthquake on Sept 19th 1985 in which over 5,000 people died, and M7.1 Mexico City earthquake on Sept 19th 2017 which caused 360 fatalities.
The event was recorded by seismic stations worldwide, including stations in the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN), see figure below.
At 15:29:05 (Universal Time) on the 23rd of June 2020, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 struck in the Oaxaca region of Mexico (see map below). The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km,Â locating approximately 12 km SSW of Santa Maria Zapotitlan, Mexico. Shortly after, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Canter (PTWC) issued a warning that hazardous tsunami wavesÂ reaching 1 to 3 m above the tide level along the coast of Mexico are possible.
Mexico is one the earths most seismically active regions due to the relative motions of three large tectonic plates (the Pacific Plate, the Cocos Plate and the North American Plate) in the region. The relatively dense oceanic crust of the pacific plate is subducting beneath the Mexican landmass. This motion can result in large earthquakes such as today’s event. The interaction of the subducting plate and the mantel rock beneath the Mexican landmass also results in volcanism in the area.
The earthquake was recorded at seismic stations worldwide, including stations of the Irish Nation Seismic Network (INSN), see seismic waveforms below (select figure to enlarge).
Further information is available from the following sources:
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake occurred in the Oaxaca region in southern Mexico on the 16th February 2018 at 23:39:39 UTC at a depth of about 25km. The epicentre lies onshore about 150km from the Pacific coast, see map below. About 50 homes were damaged and nearly 1 million homes were left without electricity. While no fatalaties related directly to the event have been reported two government officials died when a helicopter surveying damage crashed.
More information about the INSN is available via this link.