MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Latest on the Mexico earthquake (all times local):
The magnitude 8.1 quake that hit Mexico overnight occurred within a seismic hotspot in the Pacific where one tectonic plate dives under another. These so-called subduction zones are responsible for producing some of the biggest quakes in history, including the 2011 Fukushima disaster and the 2004 Sumatra quake that spawned a deadly tsunami.
Scientists are studying how this latest quake happened. But a preliminary analysis indicates the quake was triggered by the sudden breaking or bending of the Cocos plate, which dives beneath Mexico. This type of process doesn’t happen often in subduction zones; usually, big quakes in subduction zones occur along the boundary between the sinking slab and the overriding crust.
Seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey says, “It’s unusual, but it’s not unheard of.” She adds that “you get stresses on the seafloor and we know that can produce big earthquakes.”
The death toll from Mexico’s huge earthquake has risen to 32.
Oaxaca state Gov. Alejandro Murat told local news media Friday that at least 23 people in his state died after the magnitude 8.1 quake that hit just before midnight.
Civil defense officials say at least seven people died in the state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala. Two others died in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The quake that struck Mexico overnight matches the force of a magnitude 8.1 quake that hit the country on June 3, 1932, roughly 300 miles (500 kilometers) west of Mexico City.
A study by Mexico’s National Seismological Service says that quake is believed to have killed about 400 people, causing severe damage around the port of Manzanillo.
A powerful aftershock that hit 19 days later caused a tsunami that devastated 15 miles 25 kilometers of coastline, killing 75 people.
Both the Mexican and U.S. services say Friday night’s quake matches the magnitude of the 1932 temblor. The U.S. Geological Survey puts both at 8.1 while, though the Mexican seismologists calculate them at 8.2. It’s common for different agencies to arrive at slightly different calculations of quake magnitude.
Mexico’s civil defense chief says the death toll from the earthquake that hit off southern Mexico has risen to at least 15.
Luis Felipe Puente told the Televisa network that 10 had died in Oaxaca state, three in Chiapas and two in Tabasco.
The magnitude 8.1 quake struck shortly before midnight…