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Mexico City Earthquake: What Caused It?

Mexico City Earthquake: What Caused It?

A car lays crushed under the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Cisneros)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:53 AM

Tuesday's Mexico City earthquake, the country's second [JL1] large temblor within weeks, has experts scrambling to answer the pertinent question, what caused it?

Reports began to filter in of the magnitude 7.1 quake on Tuesday and by mid-afternoon hundreds of people had been killed and widespread destruction had occurred throughout Mexico, The Verge noted.

The earthquake comes just two weeks after a magnitude 8.1 temblor hit just 400 miles southeast of where this week's quake struck.

However, according to U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist John Bellini, it is not uncommon for powerful earthquakes to occur on the back of one another.

"In highly [seismically] active regions of the world, it can happen," he said, according to The Verge.

The U.S. Geological Survey noted that Mexico is located atop three large tectonic plates, pieces of the earth's outer shell that are divided into shifting plates, and is one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

Earthquakes are caused by the motion of these plates.

John Vidale, seismologist and director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, elaborated on the phenomenon in an article for CNN.

He explained that the Cocos Plate slides underneath the North American place along the coast of Mexico, moving three inches per year.

Generally the slippage is what causes earthquakes however, Tuesday's event was the result of crumpling occurring from a downward bend of a sinking Cocos Plate.

This was also the cause of the 8.1-earthquake that hit Mexico two weeks ago.

The U.S. Geological Survey Mexico reported that Mexico held a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

A magnitude 8.0 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people 32 years ago.

The Washington Post noted that, by Wednesday the death toll had risen to 217, which included 22 bodies of children found in the rubble of a collapsed school in Villacoapa.

There were a number of people reported missing and, with at least 44 collapsed or partially collapsed buildings, it is feared that there were more bodies buried beneath the structures.

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Tuesday's Mexico City earthquake, the country's second [JL1] large temblor within weeks, has experts scrambling to answer the pertinent question, what caused it?
mexico city, earthquake, cause
337
2017-53-20
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 09:53 AM
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