Earthquakes Rattle Mexico

September 20, 2017

Earlier this month, Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, offered to help the United States after Hurricane Harvey struck parts of Texas and Louisiana. Soon after, however, Mexico was rattled by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake (the largest earthquake the country has felt in 100 years) that shook the southwestern coast of the country. This very large and devastating event prompted President Peña Nieto to take back his offer of sending aid to the United States—after all, Mexico was now in desperate need of aid itself.

As the country slowly began its recovery efforts, another earthquake shook Mexico City on September 19th. There have been more than 4,000 aftershocks since the first earthquake hit the country on September 8th. Damage is still being assessed, and search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

Why are there so many earthquakes in Mexico?

Mexico lies on top of three of Earth’s tectonic plates. When these plates move and push into each other, earthquakes happen. Mexico City is especially susceptible to larger earthquakes because it is built on an old lake bed. If you want to get an idea of what Mexico City went through, shake a cup of jello—now imagine a city on top of all of that wiggling!