Mexico earthquake of 8.2 magnitude felt as far away as Ireland

8 Sep 2017

Image: Belish/Shutterstock

Mexico is coming to terms with one of the strongest earthquakes it has experienced in a century – one that literally shook the world.

As the Caribbean deals with – and Florida prepares for – the onslaught of Hurricane Irma, at least 1m people in Mexico have been affected by an 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck at 4.49am IST this morning (8 September).

Striking 165km off the Chiapas state in the south of the country, cities and towns in the affected area are without electricity and several people have been confirmed dead.

According to The Guardian, state governor Manuel Velasco said that the situation is critical as the lack of electricity is directly affecting hospitals’ ability to operate, though 800,000 homes in the region have regained power.

The seismic readings showed that the earthquake was the largest in a century and stronger than the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that killed as many as 5,000 people in the country in 1985.

The earthquake was so strong, in fact, that its shockwaves were felt across the globe, including Ireland, where the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies recorded them using the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN).

DIAS mexico

The seismograph readings from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Image: DIAS

This isn’t the first time that the INSN has picked up activity from across the globe – in 2013, it recorded signs of some of North Korea’s earliest nuclear tests at its stations in north Donegal and the Dublin Mountains.

Meanwhile, the Mexican seismological authority has issued a report on its recording of the major quake, locating its origin to 19km below the Earth’s surface, 60km off the coast.

It also said that the state of Chiapas is no stranger to earthquakes as it marks a point of interaction between five tectonic plates, and has suffered three major tremors since 1970.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic