Deadly earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale shakes Mexico on anniversary of two previous earthquakes

At least two people have been killed after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck western Mexico on Monday — the anniversary of two devastating earthquakes in 1985 and 2017.

The two died in the port of Manzanillo in Colima state, authorities said, with one person being crushed by the facade of a department store and another person found dead in a shopping center.

Social media showed the roof of the shopping center collapsing on the top floor – a gym – as people screamed for help.

The earthquake, which struck shortly after 1:00 p.m. local time, damaged buildings in the capital Mexico City, cut power and caused residents to clamber outside to safety.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there were no immediate reports of major damage from the earthquake, which swept through Mexico on the anniversary of the devastating earthquakes that hit the country in 1985 and 2017.

Authorities have reported damage to several hospitals in the western state of Michoacan near the epicenter, which is in a sparsely populated part of Mexico.

One person was injured by falling glass at one of the hospitals, the government said.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed the earthquake’s epicenter on Mexico’s west coast, close to Michoacan’s border with Colima state

It was relatively shallow, only 15 kilometers deep, which would have amplified the impact, it said.

A fallen ornament lies on the floor
The earthquake struck at a depth of 15 kilometers.(Reuters: Fernando Carranza)

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas, saying waves of 1 to 3 meters above the tide level are possible.

‘The 19th is a day to be afraid of’

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one of the country’s most prestigious higher education sites, said there was no scientific explanation for three major earthquakes on the same day and attributed it to pure coincidence.

But others couldn’t quite believe it.

“It seems like a curse,” says Isa Montes, a 34-year-old graphic designer in the city’s central Roma district.

A woman puts her hands to her face
Deadly earthquakes struck on the same day in 1985 and 2017.(AP: Ferdinand Plain)

“It’s this date. There’s something about the 19th,” said business owner Ernesto Lanzetta.

“The 19th is a day to be afraid of.”

Thousands of people died in the September 19, 1985 earthquake and more than 350 people died in the September 19, 2017 earthquake.

Many Mexicans responded to the latest earthquake by posting a series of memes online to air their fears and find humor in the natural disaster.

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