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This earthquake in Central Mexico occurred as the result of normal faulting at a depth of approximately 50 km. Focal mechanism solutions indicate that the earthquake occurred on a moderately dipping fault, striking either to the southeast, or to the northwest. The event is near, but not directly on, the plate boundary between the Cocos and North America plates in the region.

The earthquake has caused significant damage in Mexico City, with many multi-storey building collapsed causing tragic loss of life.

The previous M8.1 earthquake that occurred 32-years ago on the 19 September 1985, also caused extensive damage in Mexico City, is reported on by the NZSEE reconnaissance team in Vol. 21, No. 1, March 1988 Bulletin, “The September 1985 Mexico Earthquake: Final Report of the New Zealand Reconnaissance Team”.
This reconnaissance report can be downloaded at http://bulletin.nzsee.org.nz/21/1/0003

It will be of interest to compare the damage that occurred in 1985 to that now being reported from last Tuesday’s event.