Mexico City was hit by a major 7.6 magnitude earthquake on Monday, September 19th, leaving at least two people dead and causing destruction across the country’s Capital city.
The earthquake came on the same day of that two previous tremors had hit the city, one in 1985 and another in 2017.
“It seems like a curse,” Isa Montes, a 34-year-old resident of the city’s central Roma neighborhood, told Reuters, Ernesto Lanzetta — a business owner in the Cuauhtemoc borough of the city — told the outlet, “It’s this date. There’s something about the 19th. The 19th is a day to be feared in Mexico.”
Photos of the devastation show buildings collapsed and streets closed off. Areas of the city also experienced power outages, while several hospitals experienced damage.
Authorities have not released the names of the victims but said both died in the Pacific port of Manzanillo, according to Reuters. One of the deceased was crushed when a department store facade fell atop them, while another was discovered at a mall, where the roof collapsed into the first-floor gym.
Rafael Cruz/Anadolu Agency via Getty
On Tuesday, president Andrés Manuel López Obrador held a live conference, which he shared on Twitter, concerning the tragedy.
“We’re going to start compiling information and hope with all our hearts that nothing serious has happened,” Obrador said in part, per AOL.
“It started slowly and then was really strong and continued and continued until it started to relent,” Carla Cárdenas, a resident of Coalcoman told WHIO-TV.
The 16-year-old was in a hotel with family and added, “In the hotel, the roof of the parking area boomed and fell to the ground, and there are cracks in the walls on the second floor,” she said.
As for the significance of Sept. 19, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) noted that there was no scientific explanation for three major earthquakes happening on the same date in history.
“This is a coincidence,” U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle told WHIO-TV. “There’s no physical reason or statistical bias toward earthquakes in any given month in Mexico.”
Mexico is one of the most active seismic regions in the world, the country sitting upon three large tectonic plates.
“We knew we’d get this question as soon as it happened,” Earle added. “Sometimes there are just coincidences.”
Both previous earthquakes wreaked massive demonstrations. In 1985, 5,000 of people were killed by natural disasters, while 350 people perished due to the 2017 earthquake.