Mount Laurel, NJ

Mexico's 7.6 Magnitude Earthquake was Experienced by a Mount Laurel, NJ Native

Bridget Mulroy
A map showing the location of the September 19 earthquake.(@samijoy__/Instagram)

Today, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the Colima-Michoacan border in Mexico. This earthquake came only hours after another off Mexico’s Pacific coast near Colima. The first earthquake was a magnitude of 5.3.

The second earthquake was said to have shaken buildings in Mexico City, Mexico. Tsunami warnings have been issued but none have yet been confirmed.

Strangely enough, the earthquake is said to have happened on the anniversary of two other devastating earthquakes in Mexico.

Samantha Mayhew, or Sami Joy, is the owner of Wildly Nourished Life, and a Mount Laurel, New Jersey native living and raising her family near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She shares her experience when the earthquake hit.

“We were sitting on a bench in the doctor's office, my sister-in-law and I looked at each other and said “did you feel that? Yes yes, earthquake!” We ran outside, could barely stand, holding my daughter in one arm and my sister-in-law in the other. We huddled for safety and tried to avoid power lines. We saw the towers swaying and rooftop pools spilling. It lasted a while, close to 1 minute.”

She was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when the earthquake hit.
Samantha Mayhew, her daughter, and sister-in-law thankful to be alive after Mexico's earthquake.(@samijoy__/Instagram)

The USGS Tectonic Summary States:

“The September 19, 2022, M7.6 earthquake near the Pacific Coast of Mexico occurred as the result of shallow thrust faulting. The location, depth, and mechanism of the event are broadly consistent with slip-on or near the boundary interface between the subducting Cocos oceanic plate and the North American plate. The broad-scale tectonics of the Pacific Coast of Mexico is controlled by the northeastward subduction of the Cocos plate beneath the North American plate at a rate of approximately 70 mm/yr.

While commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes the size of the September 19, 2022, event is more appropriately described as slipping over a larger fault area. Earthquakes of this size and mechanism are typically about 90x40 km (length x width).

Earthquakes are a common occurrence along the Middle America subduction zone. In the preceding 50 years, there have been 13 other earthquakes M 6.5 or larger within 250 km of the September 19th event. This includes the 1995 M 8.0 event approximately 125 km to the northwest as well as the 1985 M 8.0 event approximately 80 km to the southeast. Both the 1985 M 8.0 event and an M7.1 earthquake near Matzaco, Mexico, in 2017 occurred on the date September 19. Despite the coincidence, there is no specific date or time of year when Mexico is statistically more prone to seismic activity.”

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Hi, I’m Bridget. I’m based in Red Bank, New Jersey, Calabasas, California, & Manhattan, New York. I cover geology, seismology, botany, biology, & community news. USGS Verified ✅

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