Very strong (shallow) earthquake in Michoacan, Mexico – NO damage or injuries reported

Last update: April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm by By

Earthquake overview : A very strong Magnitude 6.5 earthquake has hit the Mexican state of Michoacan. The hypocenter was initially set at 84 km but has been decreased later on to a dangerous depth of 20 km . 36000 people are without power as of 2am gmt but no major damage is reported.
“I have Felt it” Reports –> see below + Let us know “how you have felt this earthquake”
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).
Check also our Mexico-only earthquake list

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

Update 13/04 – 07:35 UTC
After searching authorities reports and news reports, we were unable to find any damage occurred because of this earthquake. We are however not sure about all this, as the epicenter center area is mainly a wilderness and rural area with only a few smaller roads. If anyone has knowledge of damage or injuries, please use one of the forms below to let us know.


Landscape in the greater epicenter area - image courtesy julyoboy82

On September 19 1985, a Magnitude 8 earthquake occurred at only 43 km from today’s epicenter. This earthquake was very cruel as it killed  approx. 9,500 people

- So far NO reports of damage or injuries. As the epicenter is located in a wilderness area with only a limited number of roads but with a limited agrarian community, we expect reports to ripple in after many hours. 

- EMSC maintains the Mw7.0 at a depth of 80 km for the moment, but we expect this to be changed for the USGS and Mexican data.

- We have just changed the title as USGS has been decreasing the depth to a dangerous 20 km. The new USGS data are somewhat confirmed by the local Servicio Sismologico Nacional who reports a Magnitude of 6.4 at 16 km depth.  The combination of Magnitude and depth can be a damaging cocktail. We expect a radius of max. 40 km at highest risk.  The new revised data will have generated a strong shaking for 15,000 people and a moderate MMI V shaking for 284,000 people.

- USGS has just downgraded the Michoacan earthquake from the initial Mw7.0 to Mw6.5. The depth however has been decreased further to 20 km, which makes the earthquake very dangerous for damage in the epicenter area.

- Our greatest fear is the danger for landslides in the area.  The terrain is very hilly as shows this Wikipedia description : The state is crossed by the Sierra Madre del Sur, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the Inter-mountain Valleys region. The Sierra Madre del Sur crosses the state northwest to southeast for approximately 200 km in the southwest between the municipalities of Chinicuila and Arteagaalong the Pacific Coast. It is considered to be a continuation of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Peaks in this range average about 2,900 masl, with the largest being the Cerro de las Canoas. The Mexican Trans Volcanic Belt crosses the state from west to east toward the Toluca Valleyand Valley of Mexico. This mountain range is marked by appearance of many volcanoes, active, dormant, and extinct alike (ER: this is however an earthquake which will have no immediate impact on the volcanoes). This system is subdivided into regions such as the Sierra de Tancítaro, Sierra de Periban, Sierra de San Angel and others. The best known volcano in this region is the Paricutín volcano

- We do thank all the people in Mexico who have shared their experiences with our readers. Sharing information with each other is the best way of finding out what the extend of the earthquake is.

Shaking map courtesy USGS (based on Mw7.0)

- Scientists will have a hard time in explaining that there is NO relation in between the Oregon Mw5.9 earthquake and the M7.0 Mexico earthquake. There was a diffrence of 14 minutes in between the Oceanic Oregon earthquake and the Mexico subduction earthquake.

- USGS keeps his Magnitude Mw7.0 but has decreased the depth to 65 km instead of the initial 84 km.

- Today’s earthquake is of a completely different type than the massive March 20 earthquake. Also the epicenter area is in a different part of the country.

- There is of course NO tsunami danger as the earthquake occurred below land

- 637,000 people will have felt a strong shaking and 1,000 a very strong shaking!!

- There are angry people because earthquake alarms didn’t activated in some parts of the country.

- Power is off in some parts of Michoacan

- Update 23:28 UTC : Carlos Robles reports that :
* It was felt very strong at Lazaro Cardenas and strong in the center of Puebla.

* Alarms were activated before the earthquake and there were evacuations.
* Aftershock of 4.0M.
* As I have seen on live TV, communications are going down when they call to people at other cities.

- The Mexican seismological Agency reports a magnitude of 6.4. EMSC (Europe) report M7.0 at a depth of 80 km.

- Carlos Robles just reports that nor Oaxaco nor Mexico City did report damage. Earthquake-Report.com does not expect any damage neither

- This is a typical subduction earthquake where the Oceanic plate is subducting the North American plate.

- Lazaro Cardenas has a population of  178,817. Lazara Cardenas is approx. 69 km from the earthquake’s epicenter.

- This earthquake will be felt ALL OVER CENTRAL AMERICA because of the depth of the hypocenter.

- The first I Have Felt It reports are confirming the depth of the earthquake as only weak to very weak shaking is indicated

- Good news (if confirmed) – the earthquakes hypocenter is at a depth of approx. 80 km which will weaken the impact a lot

- Collecting news at the moment


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“I Have Felt It” reports as received by Earthquake-Report.com
See below for all the received Earthquake Experience reports as received by earthquake-report.com


Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Mw 7.0
UTC Time : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 22:55:13 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 05:55:13 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 84 km
Geo-location(s) :
62 km (39 miles) SW (233°) from La Mira, Michoacán, Mexico
66 km (41 miles) WNW (303°) from Las Guacamayas, Michoacán, Mexico
342 km (213 miles) WNW (299°) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map
GDACS earthquake report

I Have Felt this earthquake

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Michoacan, Mexico Apr 11 22:55 7.0 80 MAP I Felt It
  • Guadalajara, MX - On second floor of building, felt light shaking for about 15 seconds.
  • puerto vallarta - Felt like a 3+
  • Puerto Vallarta - Table and floor were moving in opposite directions. Lasted about 45 seconds that we figured. some customers in the restaurant left the building.
  • USGS Michoacan, Mexico Apr 11 22:55 7.0 84 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Michoacan, Mexico Apr 11 22:55 6.5 20 MAP I Felt It
    GEOFON Michoacan, Mexico Apr 11 22:55 6.6 10 MAP I Felt It
  • Patzcuaro Mexico - At 6 pm central time an earthquake of several seconds occurred in the highlands of Central Mexico. A second earthquake followed right after the first. The whole house and the light fixtures swayed quite a bit.
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexico - Light earthquake at apx 11pm UTC 11 April 2012 No damage.
  • Chapala mexico - About 30 seconds to one minute
  • guadalajara - felt light shaking, water was moving in bottles, not too bad
  • MEXICO - In Mexico city,floor shaking
  • Puerto vallarta - On the 15 th floor. Building swaying along with chandelier and mirrors. Pretty scary!
  • Puerto Vallarta - Sitting on balcony in Lower Conchas Chinas, Puerto vallarta and the condo. started to shake and the ceiling fan rattle
  • Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX - Felt it on the third floor of a hundred-year-old building. Light shaking for about 15 seconds.
  • Mexico City, DF - This one lasted longer than the previous ones.
  • tecoman,colima mexico - very weak shaking about a 2.9 here on tecoman colima mexico.
  • guadalajara jalisco mexico - 5:56pm gentle shaking. Nothing fell or cracked. I was working online at the time.
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexico - Hanging lights above table swayed back and forth, table and swayed and floor swayed...no rumbling. This happened 3 times. I live on the 3rd floor. Everyone felt it and ran out of their condos and hotels
  • puerto vallarta - Things were rolling for at least 30 seconds
  • Jocotepec, Jalisco - Chandelier, hanging plants swinging and sitting on sofa moving quite a bit for a long time.
  • Olas Altas, Puerto Vallarta - 1st floor 40 year old condo shaking, ceiling fan/light shaking, tv moving, the slight rumbling sound at 5:56 pm local time 2 stages about 40 seconds total
  • guadalajara - felt light shaking, water moved, not too bad
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexique - secousses légères 10 à 15 secondes maximum
  • Ajijic, Jalisco - My family was watching tv on the couch and felt obvious shaking for about 2-3 seconds. The hanging lamp on a 1 1/2ft. chain was swinging in large arcs.
  • Puerto Vallarta - I felt VERY dizzy and the ground was shaking. I could hear the buildings shake.
  • Puerto Vallarta - Third floor of hotel on beach in Puerto Vallarta around 6 p.m. Floor and light fixture shaking, didn't wake sleeping kids though. Clearly an earthquake.
  • Zirahuen, michoacan - 2 separate earthquakes about 15-30 seconds apart.. Shook pretty good, but no real damage. Perhaps a new crack or two on walls. Windows shook, wall hangings and light fixtures were swinging. My Mexican neighbor was pretty scared and went running out.
  • Ciudad de México - Realmente no sentí nada, estoy en el 5to piso de un edificio habitacional, solo un ligero mareo.
  • puerto vallarta, jalisco - several back and forth swings , the water bottle in waves , and an open door flaping also caught my atencion ... guessing it was alot stronger somewhere else ... b.
  • Ajijic, MX - More like swaying.
  • Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico - Sitting on the beach we felt a few little shakes. Nothing really moved, but I am sure we would have heard rattling dishes if we had been at home.
  • Tecoman, Colima - Estaba escribiendo en mi computadora y de pronto me senti mareada, los trastes en la cocina empezaron a sonar uno contra otro y la hoja de la ventana en mi puerta se abria y se cerraba, mi perro no dejaba de ladrar y poco a poco fue disminuyendo de intensidad de manera circular. Solo fue un pequeño paseo.
  • Cuernavaca, Mexico - Lamps moving. Some people felt it others not.
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - While standing in my 3rd story, I felt the floor moving and noticed the chandelier shaking around 6 pm.
  • Rincon de Guayabitos, Nayarit - Ceiling fan and hanging ornament started to swing
  • MEXICO - I was sitting with my lapton and felt my chair moving. I thought it was going to collapse and noticed the doors on a furniture piece moving forth and back, heard rumbling, saw the ceiling fan and chandelier moving. It must have lasted at least 10 seconds or more. Strangely, one of my dogs was anxious to get outside a few minutes before this happened. Wow, my first earthquake where I was not sleeping.
  • MEXICO - Was watering plants: The concrete ledge the pots were on moved about 2" east to west. Waves in nearby bird bath were about 1" high. Top of pencil shaped cedar tree in front yard whipped back and forth about two feet. All shaking done in maybe 10 to 15 seconds. No noise. Checked watch: was at 5:57. Is 30 sec fast.
  • San Antonio Tlayacapan - I felt everything rolling, chandelier and ceiling fan were swaying. Interestingly, one of the dogs was very anxious to get out a few minutes before this event.
  • Morelia Michoacan - I was standing in the kitchen and felt disoriented when I noticed everything swaying in the house. Enough swaying to get attention and cause pause for concern, but those in autos may not have felt it. I would say it ranked at about moderate swaying rather than shaking.
  • barra de potosi - Were on 2nd floor of house by the beach and felt the floor gently swaying for 10 seconds or so.
  • puerto vallarta - glad it was not too strong here, hopefully no ones injurded
  • puerto vallarta friendly vallarta hotel - Just came in from the beach and was in the shower when felt shaking. Made us feel dizzy. Towels swaying on the towel rack. Lasted about 30 seconds.
  • puerto vallarta - glad nothing fell down here, i hope no one got injurede in Michoacan
  • patzcuaro - The light fixtures swayed, the bed, felt like the whole house moving. I was almost ready to run out of the house when it stopped. My first earthquake. Scary.
  • Tapalpa, Jalisco, Mexico - Mild shaking 3 to 4 seconds, not enough to move things or damage.
  • Puerto Vallarta - Was standing with friends on our 26 floor balcony and we all felt dizzy. Then the building started swaying it was scary and weird at the same Time.Happy everyone is safe.
  • San Antonio Tlayacapan - Just sort of a rolling sensation
  • Mexico - Sitting at the bar at the Puerto Vallarta Yacht club. 2 distinct sways about 10 seconds apart.
  • Nuevo Vallarta - Moderate shaking indicated
  • Mexico City - I was working at home when I felt the earthquake. It didn't scare me, I looked on this site to find information about it. It wasn't too long either.
  • Ajijic - Estaba en mi computadora cuando de repente senti un mareo y me pare y los trastes de mi cocina se movian uno tras otro fue algo impresionante y muchos dicen que no sintieron el temblor

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    SHARE YOUR EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE WITH US

    Enter Email (not compulsory)
    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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