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Mexico Begins to Gauge Quake Damage

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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A deadly 8.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the southern coast of Mexico late Thursday has left extensive damage to infrastructure in its wake.

The quake, the epicenter of which was off the coast of the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, is believed to have killed at least 90 people, and triggered the shutdown of oil refineries near the ocean after tsunami warnings were issued.

Chiapas damage
President of the Republic of Mexico, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Buildings, roads and bridges were damaged by the 8.1-magnitude quake, which hit off the southern coast of Mexico, most directly affecting the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

The extent of the destruction has yet to become fully clear, but buildings throughout southern Mexico and parts of nearby Guatemala were damaged, many falling completely, and government reports from Chiapas indicate that bridges and roads throughout the state sustained damage as well.

Mexico's natural gas industry reportedly did not sustain any major damage.

The Hardest Hit

The city of Juchitan de Zaragoza, in Chiapas, was one of the hardest hit; half of its city hall, over 100 years old, collapsed, according to reports. A hospital in Juchitan also sustained damage, forcing patients to be evacuated to a nearby school, according to the Associated Press.

The Chiapas quake was more powerful, but seemingly less deadly, than the 1985 earthquake that is believed to have killed nearly 10,000 people. The location of this temblor, in the ocean and closest to more rural areas, is believed to have helped keep the loss of life minimal. Mexico City reportedly experienced only mild effects this time.

Mexico is home to some of the tallest cable-stayed bridges in the world, but preliminary reports do not indicate damage to its most famous spans. The Baluarte Bridge, opened in 2012 and known as the highest bridge in the Americas, is far enough north to have avoided damage, and the Mezcala, closer to the epicenter, is not reported to have been affected.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Oil and Gas; Roads/Highways

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