By Cristina Sanchez Reyes
Mexico City, September 19 (EFE).- A 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook central Mexico and killed at least one person on Monday, the anniversary of a pair of devastating tremors that occurred in 1985 and 2017.
According to preliminary data from Mexico’s National Seismological Service (SSN), the earthquake, which was centered 63 kilometers (39 miles) south of Colcomán in the western state of Michoacán, struck at 1:05 p.m.
Govt. Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla confirmed.
The SSN listed the earthquake as magnitude-6.8 but later upgraded it to magnitude-7.4; Later, the National Civil Protection Coordination (CNPC) raised the reading again to -7.7.
More than 70 aftershocks were registered as of 2 p.m., the strongest of which was magnitude-7.1, CNPC said.
Of the one fatality reported so far, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on social media that the man died when a wall collapsed at a shopping center in Manzanillo, a port city in the western state of Colima.
The earthquake struck less than an hour after the alarm was sounded as part of a nationwide earthquake simulation every September. 19 to commemorate the devastating 1985 and 2017 earthquakes, which occurred on the same date 32 years apart.
The 2017 magnitude-7.1 earthquake just south of the central city of Puebla was responsible for nearly 370 deaths, while the 1985 Mexico City quake killed more than 20,000.
Millions of civilians, as well as more than 16,000 police and hundreds of government vehicles, took part in Monday’s simulation exercise, where buildings, homes, schools and workplaces were evacuated to raise awareness of this type of natural disaster.
Ingrid Valdez, one of the participants in the simulation, said the exercise shows Mexicans the procedures they must follow in the event an evacuation is required and highlights any potential deficiencies.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheenbaum said there were no deaths or serious damage in the capital.
But reports from ordinary citizens have cordoned off older, downtown buildings amid concerns about potential structural damage.
In addition to Michoacán, Monday’s earthquake was felt in three southern and Pacific coastal states (Colima, Jalisco and Oaxaca) and three central and Gulf coastal states (Morelos, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz).
Just hours before the quake, López Obrador led a ceremony honoring those killed in September. 19, 1985, and September 19, 2017, disasters.
“We have to move forward, prepare ourselves. Education is the key to dealing with this natural phenomenon, preventive (measures),» the President said in his daily press conference. “Because we already know that we can count on the solidarity of our people, which is a blessing. “Efe