Why so many earthquakes occur in Mexico?
Yesterday, Tuesday, Mexico suffered a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale, according to the United States Geological Survey. The US seismic agency located the earthquake 51km deep and located its epicenter on the outskirts of Axochiapan, 55km south of Puebla.
This earthquake occurred on the anniversary of the great earthquake suffered by the country in 1985. Due to its magnitude, the earthquake surpasses that occurred in 1985 near Mexico City, which left thousands dead and tens of thousands of buildings destroyed. On September 8, the country also trembled after registering an earthquake of 8.2 degrees. Why do so many earthquakes occur in this country?
The geographical situation of Mexico makes the territory very vulnerable to earthquakes. On the one hand, it is located in the Great Pacific Fire Belt, an arc that goes from America to Asia where 90% of the world’s earthquakes, including 8 out of 10 of the most violent ones, occur.
The tectonic plates play an important role in this phenomenon. The Pacific Ocean rests on several of these plates, which converge causing friction between them, which causes tension to build up that must be released.
90 percent of earthquakes occur in what is known as the Pacific Fire Belt, a region of 40,000 kilometers in length, which covers countries such as Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala or Mexico.
Being part of the Pacific Horseshoe (a name that comes from the union between Chile and New Zealand, following the coastline) makes these countries susceptible to frequent earthquakes.
In the other hand, Mexico collides with the Caribbean plate and the Central American plate of Cocos, giving rise to enormous tensions between all of them.
The strongest earthquake measured on Earth was magnitude 9.5 and occurred in Chile in 1960, but according to the consistency of the soil and the construction of the region, earthquakes have different effects.