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Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Earthquakes in Yucatan? Someone’s always checking

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With recent news of a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Mexico, shaking buildings in the capital and sending people running out into the street, one might wonder about Yucatan’s history with such a natural disaster.

The quake was centered in the southwestern state of Guerrero, close to the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco. A thousand miles away, the Yucatan Peninsula has no fault lines running beneath and no earthquake has ever been recorded here. But 200 miles south, the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault runs along an east-west line from Jamaica to the southern part of Haiti. An earthquake in the Caribbean Sea could create a tsunami that would rapidly reach the southern shores of the peninsula.

The peninsula is surrounded by earthquake zones, without itself being prone to tremors. The Gulf of Honduras has been hit, as has the eastern Gulf of Mexico off both Campeche and Mobile, Ala., where there are two intersecting fault lines. Land areas in Chiapas and Guatemala have suffered quakes. But not any place near Merida, which even still has a seismology station that is the product of a coordinated effort between UADY, UNAM and the state government. It detects earthquakes anywhere in the world.

Just to be sure, though, you’re free to bookmark the live Yucatan seismograph and check it from time to time.

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