Deadly damaging earthquake below the Chiapas (Mexico) and the Guatemala coast

Last update: July 10, 2014 at 11:06 am by By

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Update July 10 : 3 days after the deadly earthquake we can finally report a somewhat official damage / injuries report :

Fatalities : 8 4 in Guatemala and 4 in Mexico
Injuries : 118 in Mexico and 137 in Guatemala
Damaged houses : 4600 in Guatemala and 1555 in Mexico


Update July 8 : A 4th fatality has been reported in Chiapas, Mexico. 118 people injured in Chiapas + lots of damage.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 23.59.38

Update 1:31 UTC: Three deaths have been confirmed in Chiapas, Mex. and four in Guatemala, bringing the death toll to 7. (Unconfirmed reports indicate at least 9 deaths.)

Update 20:01 UTC:

Guatemala:

Three deaths were reported in San Marcos.
One death was reported in Quetzaltenango due to a cardiac arrest.
-(Unconfirmed)  One death was reported in Escuintla due to a cardiac arrest.
- 35 people were injured and 135 homes were damaged in Sibinal.
- A schools was heavily damaged in Comitancillo.
- Schools were damaged in Retalhuleu.
- The cathedral of San Pedro Sacatepequez was heavily damaged. Moderate to heavy damage was seen in the mall and homes in this city, a sinkhole opened in the parking lot of a park. Water and power services were also affected.
- Both towers of a church in Ixchiguan are about to collapse, homes collapsed or suffered heavy damage in this town.
- 48 homes were heavily damaged in La Reforma.
- 8 homes in La Esperanza were damaged.
- The health center of Santa Cruz Mulua was damaged.
- Unconfirmed reports indicate that the municipal building of Tajamulco collapsed, heavy damage has been reported around the town.
- A landslide happened in El Tumbador, also buildings were heavily damaged.
- Damage reported in cemeteries of San Marcos, San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta, San Cristóbal Cucho and Feria, at least 120 graves were damaged.
- Big landslides have blocked routes in San Cristóbal Cucho. A fire station was severely damaged as well as several homes.
- Some injuries were reported in Huehuetenango including two kids that were injured by a collapsed wall; homes, municipal buildings and a school were damaged , the tribunal was flooded due to a broken pipe.
- Moderate damage can be seen in Mazatenango, schools, government buildings, churches and homes are damaged. There is an unconfirmed report of damage in the water treatment plant.
- A landslide blocked the route of Colomba.
- A landslide has blocked the routhe between Colomba and San Juan Ostuncalco.
- 26 schools were damaged in Chicacao, as well as several homes.
- 10 houses in Cajola have been damaged, 36 people have been evacuated.
-A church in Samayac suffered heavy damage.
- 14 schools were damaged in San Antonio Suchitepéquez. Structural damage has been reported around the city.
- In Totonicapan 2 homes collapsed and several more were damaged, 4 schools were also damaged.
- In San Pablo Jocopilas minor landslides were reported and there was no power in some zones.
- Unclear damage has been reported in Ixtahuacan.
-Power was out in Cabrican.
- Cracks were reported in San Francisco El Alto.
-In Guatemala City power went out for a couple of minutes, there are reports of minor cracks in walls.
- The city hall of of Escuintla was damaged.
-Reports of minor damage in Mixco.

Chiapas, Mex.:

One death was reported in Huixtla.
One death was reported in Cacahoatan.
- One death was reported in Mepastepec, part of the ceilling fell on the victim during the earthquake.
- (Unconfirmed) One death was reported in the road of Motozintla due to a landslide. There is an unconfirmed report of a collapsed house.
- More than 9,000 homes were damaged across the state.
- 3 people are missing in Cacahoatan.
- Severe damage was seen in Huehuetan, including the collapse of the municipal building.
- Damaged is seen in Zapotitlan, there were also blackouts in the town.
- Roads were damaged in Chicomuselo.
- Landslide reported in Tacana.
- Electrical transformers exploded in San Cristobal de las Casas leaving some parts of the city without power.
- Minor damage has been reported in one school and the airport of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Update 19:54 UTC: 6 fatalities have now been confirmed, 3 in San Marcos, Gt, 1 in Quetzaltenango, GT, one in Huixtla, Mex. and one in Mepastepec, Mex.

Update 17:59 UTC : Always chaos after an earthquake. It will take another 6 to 8 hours before a more to be trusted record of the fatalities is being reported. Although local press reports did indicate 4 fatalities in Guatemala, the President only reported 2 (a baby and and a woman). 35 people are treated for injuries.
In Mexico we are sure of 2 fatalities and (new) 6 injured.
So the best and officially confirmed toll is now 4 fatalities and 41 people injured + a lot of damage.

Update 17:46 UTC : The Guatemala President reports at least 35 people injured

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 19.43.48

Update 17:37 UTC : Mexican SSN reports many aftershocks, the strongest one measuring 4.5 (below damage level for not yet damaged buildings)

Update 17:28 UTC : Schools in Chiapas Mexico are closed until the school buildings are being inspected for structural damage by engineers

Update 17:24 UTC : The death toll has increased to 7 people (4 of them in Guatema and 3 in Mexico)

Tectonic Summary
The July 7, 2014 M 6.9 earthquake near the coast of Chiapas, Mexico occurred as the result of normal faulting at a depth of 60 km. The earthquake occurred near the border between Mexico and Guatemala, near Puerto Madero, Mexico, and about 200 km from Guatemala City, Guatemala, which has a population of one million people. At the location of the earthquake, the Cocos plate subducts to the northeast beneath the North America plate at a velocity of approximately 79 mm/yr, forming the Middle America subduction zone. The mechanism of the earthquake is consistent with extension within the down-going Cocos slab. The earthquake occurred below and to the east of the slab interface where larger, thrust-type earthquakes can occur.
The region around the July 7 earthquake is highly seismically active, having produced 12 events of M7.0 or greater since 1902 within 200 km of the epicenter. Most recently, an M7.4 event occurred in November 2012 on the subduction zone interface 123 km southeast of the July 7 event. Other notable events include an M7.2 in 1993 which caused 1 casualty in western Guatemala; an M7.7 in 1942 with 38 casualties and widespread damage, and two events of M7.8 and 7.5 in 1902.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 19.08.56

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Central America - Tectonics + movement

Update 16:34 UTC : DO NOT BELIEVE all the videos currently circulating on Twitter and Facebook – We have at least detected 2 vedios from the Guerrero earthquake who are now being used as this mornings earthquake.

Update 16:27 UTC : The best overview video we could find so far showing an overview and some interviews at San Marcos, Guatemala

Update 16:16 UTC : The earthquake death toll has increased to at least 6 – 3 in Chiapas, Mexico and 3 in Guatemala

Update 15:58 UTC : One additional person was killed in Mexico’s Chiapas province where a car was buried by a landslide. This brings the total on 5 people killed during this earthquake. Let’s hope that it stops here.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 18.06.19

Important update 15:34 UTC : Unfortunately we have to report that a third person was killed in Guatemala. This brings the total number of fatalities so far on 4 (3 Guatemala and 1 in Mexico)

Image courtesy and copyright @LSAhora

Image courtesy and copyright @LSAhora

Update 15:31 UTC : An ER reader has send us the following remark :
The USGS list of cities affected by the July 7, 2014 Mexico quake gives the erroneous impression that only villages were affected. Tapacula Municipality covers the quake epicenter area and Tapacula city proper is within the epicenter area. It has a population of over a quarter million. Having been there many times, I can say many parts of the city are vulnerable.

Update 15:20 UTC : a Prensa Libre collection of damage images from the earthquake

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 17.19.12

Update 15:15 UTC : Governor of Chiapas Mexico report :
El gobernador de Chiapas, Manuel Velasco, confirmó en su cuenta de Twitter @VelascoM_ la muerte de una persona que respondía al nombre de José Molina, quien vivía en Huixtla. También reportó diversas cuarteaduras en viviendas de la región Soconusco. El sismo causó daños estructurales en zonas habitacionales, donde autoridades locales realizan ya una evaluación de los daños ocasionados
1 person killed in Huixtla and a lot of damage
Guatemala :
Raul Hernandez, a spokesman for fire services in Guatemala, said that in the region of San Marcos his unit had reports of 30 houses damaged and two people dead.

Update 14:34 UTC: People should be aware of potentially dangerous aftershocks in the region for the next hours and days.

Update 14:23 UTC: There are 3 confirmed deaths so far in Guatemala, and one death in Mexico. Also there are reported 21 injured persons. A preliminary statement shows that 48 houses collapsed in San Marcos, Guatemala. The authorities are working on unblocking some access routes in the region affected by landslides.

Update 13:36 UTC: The Ministry of Education from Guatemala decided to suspend classes in the nearby places: Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango y Sololá, the most affected by the earthquake.

Update 12:47 UTC : A revised shaking map from USGS gives some better results than the initial one below, but still looks very bad for the coastal areas. This map is based on M6.9 at a depth of 60 km.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 14.49.45 Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 14.49.58

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 14.47.05

Update 12:44 UTC : Damage in the airport building of Tapachula, Mexico

Image courtesy @Ximena_hermosa1 on Twitter

Image courtesy @Ximena_hermosa1 on Twitter

Update 12:36 UTC – The situation is VERY UNCLEAR at this moment. The damage reports we are getting are coming from San Marcos, BUT SanMarcos is at least 50 km away from the epicenter. We are anxiously waiting for reports from the direct epicenter area.
The Guatemalan press reports (unfortunately) 2 fatalities at this moment, many more injured. (we are still searching for confirmation of the fatalities – soon after an earthquake the situation can be explained as very chaotic)

Update 12:31 UTC : An additional picture showing the strength of the earthquake in SanMarcos, Guatemala. Solala also reports damage and injuries.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 14.31.23

Image twitter courtesy @CBMDEPTAL Guatemala

Update 12:24 UTC : More and more damaging pictures are being distributed. We are still checking sources before publishing some. Lots of damage is sure, injuries are being reported too. SAN MARCOS, Guatemala seems to have been hit seriously.
Apart from structural damage, many landslides are being reported.

Twitter picture - damage in San Marcos, Guatemala

Twitter picture – damage in San Marcos, Guatemala

Update 12:08 UTC : SSN Mexico (the Mexican seismological agency) has reported M6.9 at a depth of 60 km.

Update 12:06 UTC : The seismogram from SSN Mexico shows the strength of the earthquake

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 14.06.21

IPMORTANT UPDATE 12:02 UTC : We have to change our expectations dramatically as the initial depth of the hypocenter has been changed in the meanwhile from 33 km to 92 km ! Thats a world of difference. Damage expectations will remain but we can scrap horror from our initial wording horror scenario.

Update 11:50 UTC : Max Wyss , the theoretical injuries/fatalities engine gives hopeful numbers : 0 to 600 wounded and 0 to 10 fatalities.

Update 11:45 UTC : A Horror shaking scenario has been reported by USGS shakemap – This means for sure a lot of damage at least, lets hope no injuries or fatalities – A MMI VII is very strong shaking and may be damaging. The earthquake type at the other hand is a good one (subduction earthquake) which give mainly an up/down movement (transform earthquakes are far more shallower and are giving a mainly horizontal movement)

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Update 11:42 UTC : Below the theoretical Tsunami expectations from GDACS

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 13.41.16

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Update 11:38 UTC : NOAA has currently No Tsunami Warnings, Advisories or Watches are in effect

Update 11:36 UTC : NO Tsunami alert for the wider area, but based on the current details we would ADVISE to stay away from the coastline !

17km (11mi) WSW of Mazatan, Mexico
35km (22mi) WSW of Tapachula, Mexico
41km (25mi) SSW of Huixtla, Mexico
49km (30mi) NW of Suchiate, Mexico
225km (140mi) W of Guatemala City, Guatemala

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 7.1

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-07-07 06:23:58

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-07-07 11:23:58

Depth (Hypocenter) : 76 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
PTWC Near The Coast Of Chiapas Mexico Jul 07 11:27 7.1 33 MAP I Felt It
WCATWC Near Coast Of Chiapas Mexico Jul 07 11:24 7.1 75 MAP I Felt It
USGS Puerto Madero, Mexico Jul 07 11:23 6.9 60 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Near Coast Of Chiapas, Mexico Jul 07 11:23 6.9 68 MAP I Felt It
USGS Mazatan, Mexico Jul 07 11:23 7.1 76 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Chiapas, Mexico Jul 07 11:23 7.0 90 MAP I Felt It
  • Guatemala city - No damage but it woke me up
  • Guatemala - Sismo prolongado
  • Guatemala City - Everybody woke up! Very strong and long one! Walls and doors Made cricking sounds. No damage in this property.
  • ciudad - Fuerte y largo
  • Atiquizaya, Ahuachapan, El Salvador - Sin daños
  • guatemala city - afortunadamente no hay daños, sin embargo si fue un movimiento fuerte ya que me desperto mientras yo dormia, tengo entendido que en el oeste del paiz cerca de la frontera con mexico si hay daños en infraestructura y en el suministro de energia electrica.
  • Guatemala - Fuerte Movimiento de vaiven perceptible.
  • Veracruz, Mexico - It felt oscillatory here, quite strong, some walls and windows creaked but there was no visible or important damage.
  • San Cristobal de Las Casas - I woke up to my bed shaking strongly. I got out of bed, walked to the doorway of my terrace and started counting the seconds. It lasted well over a minute. I heard some things crash and fall inside the house. But it is still too dark to investigate. It is the break of dawn.
  • Lake Atitlan - Violent shaking, woke everybody up. Few things falling.
  • Ciudad de Guatemala - No hubieron daños materiales.
  • Guatemala - 14 th floor, strong swaying movement, all lamps were making noice, I felt it was long, pendul from clock stopped at 5:25
  • San Ignacio Town, Belize - Everything was shaking for about 2-3 minutes. No damages.
  • Quetzaltenango - No ha pasado nada fuerte, pero han habido incedioa
  • Quetzaltenango - House shook violently. Needed support to stand. Seemed stronger than November 2012 quake.
  • San Salvador - Long and strong oscillations. Dogs barked. No damages, but thought its epicenter had been closer.
  • Guatemala - en este sector no hay daños, la prensa reporta daños cerca del área de la frontera, hacia la zona del epicentro
  • San Salvador - Temblor corto pero intenso. Ningun daño, no llego a ser importante
  • Guanacaste, Costa Rica - I was sleeping and when I felt the bed and doors shaking vigorously. Clock showed 5:45am when I felt these tremors.
  • Fraijanes - slow shaking then became stronger,Tv and desk were moving. lasted for awhile
  • Panajachel - No damage on our property. We all woke up from the shaking of the house which last a few minutes or so.
  • Quetzaltenango - Woke us up and I got up to stand in inside doorway. Could hear hanging pans rattling. Could also feel "waves". Seemed to last for awhile, but time hard to judge. Picture on wall in living room knocked out of alignment. Looked at my cell phone for time - 5:22 am. Friend called & said electricity out at her house in Zone 7.
  • San Ignacio Town - Just felt very weak shaking. No damage made.
  • Antigua - no damage
  • Tapachula - Really strong shaking, stuff fell off shelves. No structural damage but am in a well-built house. Expect to see damage in some areas.
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - woke me up, grabbed two babies wife the other, good rattle of our 170 year old adobe home. bells on lines in the patio started to ring in the last part of shaking, probably 15 seconds long. no damage
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - I was woken by the bed shaking and a closed door rattling against the frame and the shaking seemed to go on for about a minute. No damage to property
  • Tuxtla Gutierrez - The shaking woke us out of our sleep. It was consistent and lasted for over a minute. No damage.
  • Tuxtla Guiterrez - The shaking woke all of us up. It lasted over a minute. No damage and we did not feel any aftershocks.
  • San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas - I awoke to a rocking that felt almost comforting, rather gentle and since I was in the Loma Prieta quake of 1989 in Santa Cruz, CA, I was not disturbed by the light shaking, but walls creaked and I saw my electric clock say 6:23am, then the electricity went off for about 2 hours.

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    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (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.
    Write your experience below + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage) or if you have knowledge of any damage caused by this earthquake. (max. 500 characters)

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