7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Chiapas, Mexico: 3 dead

Monday, July 7, 2014
By Paul Martin

July 7, 2014

MEXICO – At least three deaths were reported after a magnitude-7.1 earthquake rocked much of southern Mexico and Central America on Monday. The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor, which hit at about 7:23 a.m ET, was centered about 5 miles northeast of the town of Puerto Madero near the Guatemala border. At least two people are reported dead in Guatemala. Firefighters spokesman Raul Hernandez said at least two people were killed in the Guatemalan town of San Marcos. In Mexico, local news media reported the quake was felt strongly in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Tabasco, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The quake was centered 57 miles below the surface. The earthquake was later downgraded to a 6.9 magnitude event by the USGS. It would’ve been the 9th such 7+ magnitude event in a year that is only supposed to barely average 15 such sizable earthquakes. Scientists reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in June that the number of large earthquakes happening in the first part of this year had doubled, though the cause for the escalation couldn’t be exactly identified. “We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded,” said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California. The cause of the escalated seismic activity, said Parsons remains unknown. –AP, TEP
Death toll could rise: The earthquake struck 14km offshore from the city of Mazatan in Mexico, but strong tremors were felt across the border in Guatemala. Significant damages were reported in the region of San Marcos in Guatemala where the quake damaged buildings and triggered landslides. “This quake was pretty strong. There are houses destroyed,” Luis Rivera, governor of the San Marcos region, told Reuters. A spokesperson from the local emergency services said three people had been reported dead in the area. “We have reports of damaged homes and apparently three people dead. For now, this is all supposition, we’re going by air to make checks,” said Sergio Cabanas as cited by Reuters. The spokesman for the fire services added that twelve people were injured and 50 houses in the region were evacuated. –RT News


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