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As parents of children who died when a school collapsed during the 2017 Mexico earthquake celebrated mass in his memory, the ground began to shake again.
“No, not again! My God, not again!” they screamed as a 7.6-magnitude earthquake rocked the capital on Monday, killing two people in the Pacific coast state of Colima.
Three powerful earthquakes hit Mexico on September 19: in 1985, 2017, and now in 2022. The unfortunate coincidence has heightened the anxiety of many. The last two earthquakes also came shortly after the annual earthquake drill that takes place every September 19 to commemorate the devastating 1985 tremor.
EARTHQUAKE OF MAGNITUDE 6.9 HIDDEN TAIWAN AND ACTIVATED TSUNAMI ALARM IN JAPAN
Mexico’s national civil defense coordinator, Laura Velázquez, said Tuesday that the two deaths in Colima were due to parts of buildings collapsing. Ten people were injured, nine in Colima and one in neighboring Michoacán.
More than 200 buildings were damaged, including dozens of schools and health centers, it said. Most of the damage was in those Pacific states, near the epicenter of Michoacán. Some 20 buildings in Mexico City were damaged, but it was minor, she said.
On the morning of September 19, 1985, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 devastated the center, south and west of the country, leaving some 9,500 dead.
“It’s really strange, but a lot of people don’t like that day anymore,” said Jorge Ornelas, coordinator of the call center. He said that many of his acquaintances begin to worry about an earthquake in September.
“If we continue to think that every September 19 it will shake, it will continue to happen every year, because what you think is always what happens,” said Ornelas, 35.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STRIKED BY 4.4 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE; NO MAJOR DAMAGE REPORTED
Xyoli Pérez-Campos, a researcher at the seismology department of the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said there was no physical reason for the coincidence of large earthquakes on a single day. Monday’s quake was the result of “the interaction of the Cocos plate with the North American plate,” which also generated the 1985 earthquake.
Five plates -North America, the Pacific, the Riviera, the Caribbean and the Cocos- run under Mexican territory.
“Dishes break when it’s their time to break,” Pérez-Campos said. “What will they know about the calendar?”