Earthquake in Guerrero - Oaxaca, Mexico - 2 people died after Tuesday's earthquake

With the collaboration of Carlos Robles
Earthquake overview : On 3/20/2012  at about 11:30h local time, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 occurred in the highly populated region of Guerrero in Mexico. The earthquake happened 149km from Oaxaca.
"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
Read Also : "Understanding" the massive March 20 Mexico earthquake

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


Update 13/04 – 13:32 UTC
2 serious aftershocks in Guerrero / Oaxaca, Mexico
As predicted several weeks ago, the M7.6 earthquake in Guerrero Mexico would surely lead to a lot of aftershocks including some stronger ones which will be close or greater than M6.0. What happened today (M5.4 at 10:10 UTC and M5.3 at 13:06 UTC) could be expected and will normally not cause any additional damage. Let us hope that the aftershocks will gradually winding down in strength and number.

Damage in Guerrero province - image courtesy and Reforma

Update 23/03 - 16:13UTC:
- The mayor of  Cuajinicuilapa in Guerrero state, said one of the victims died from injuries caused by a wall falling on him and the other died of complications for a heart attack suffered during the quake (so he died during the earthquake and not later, they never said there was a victim until today).
- Because of the above, this earthquake receives a CATDAT RED labeling and is the 4th deadly earthquake since the beginning of the year (after the Dominican Republic, the Philippines and Japan)
- A M 5.0 aftershock shook the Guerrero / Oaxaca area again yesterday. No further damage was reported (not in Distrito Federal or in the epicenter provinces. Aftershocks will be part of almost daily life in these provinces.
- Yesterday's M 5.0 aftershock was the 96th aftershock after the massive quake on Tuesday.
- Segob has reported that alone in Oaxaca, 6,344 buildings have been damaged.

Update 23/03 - 12:00 UTC:
Carlos Robles (ER contributor) reports :
A lot of rumors are spreading in Mexico and causing panic among the people.
Some of them are:
- a volcano is forming in Guerrero.
- a mega-quake is going to happen soon
- It was pre-planned.
Today people were saying that a big earthquake was going to happen at 4:58pm... the rumors about the volcano were because the water was at point of boiling and thats normal after a big earthquake (ER : it looks like boiling water but probably some liquefaction was seen in some areas).
Buildings were evacuated today because there were people saying these things !
Its kind of frustrating because THESE ARE ALL LIES...nobody can predict an earthquake or even make one and about the volcano.. just common we have a lot of instruments worldwide...just see El Hierro they knew a volcano was forming months BEFORE the eruption.
Well these kind of things happen worldwide but i am angry because I have family and friends there that actually believes these rumors. The only thing we should do is to be prepared with medic kits, food, water,etc and not to be scared.

Update 22/03 21:00UTC:
- The Mexican seismological agency has said that more than 80 aftershocks have been recorded since the mainshock on Tuesday

Summary Update 22/03 09:00UTC:
- In Guerrero, 30000 houses have been reported to have been damaged (it is expected many with cracks in the adobe or fallen cardboard) to some extent. Given that Guerrero is an extremely poor part of Mexico with the second lowest HDI in Mexico, the economic loss will not be significant. However, the impact to locals will be quite high. 800 houses are reported to have collapsed in Guerrero or be so severely damaged that they are uninhabitable. This is the report of the local governor. 2 people were injured in Cuajinicuilapa and Ometepec. Shelter has been provided.
20 schools and hospitals were damaged in four municipalities, including the Ometepec, where the epicenter of the quake was, and one remains without electricity at Tlacoachistlahuaca.
-In Oaxaca, 2000 homes and public buildings have been damaged to varying extents.
-In Mexico City, 250,000 people were without water service due to a pipe burst by the quake, said City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.

A garden wall collapsed on many houses - image courtesy El Universal

Summary Update 15:25 UTC :
- Yesterday's earthquake has been labeled by the Mexican authorities as the strongest since the devastating 1985 earthquake (see below this images of this update).
- Gradually images from the damage are published in many media (see below this update).
- 300,000 people in Mexico City have no drinking water
- Authorities are calling the population to remain calm (ER : after every earthquake some "..." people are talking about a new even more powerful earthquake. Such a rumor goes on quickly and people often start to panic, hamster, etc.)
- Line A of the Mexico City underground is still not working. 30 workers are currently trying to repair the damage after the earthquake
- In Mexico's Chiapas province, an earthquake simulation coincided with the real earthquake !

The 1985 Mexico City earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that struck Mexico City on the early morning of 19 September 1985 at around 7:19 am (CST), caused the deaths of at least 10,000 people and serious damage to the greater Mexico City Area. The complete seismic event consisted of four quakes. A pre-event quake of magnitude 5.2 occurred on 28 May 1985. The main and most powerful shock occurred 19 September, followed by two aftershocks: one on 20 September 1985 of magnitude 7.5 and the fourth occurring seven months later on 30 April 1986 of magnitude 7.0. The quakes were located off the Mexican Pacific coast, more than 350 km away, but due to strength of the quake and the fact that Mexico City sits on an old lake-bed, Mexico City suffered major damage. The event caused between three and four billion USD in damage as 412 buildings collapsed and another 3,124 were seriously damaged in the city. While the number is in dispute, the most-often cited number of deaths is an estimated 10,000 people but experts agreed that it could be up to 40,000 (source : Wikipedia)

Video captured by an evacuee moments after the shaking started. The epicenter of this earthquake was more than 300 km from the location where this video was recorded.

Civil Protection in assessing the damage &after the M 7.4 earthquake in Mexico

Summary  Update 06:30 UTC :
- The latest reports of damage seem to be less than previously indicated. In the town of Omotepec, a town of 3000 inhabitants, around 200 houses have fallen tiles and some collapsed walls. They are mainly built of asbestos cement, adobe and other materials. The inhabitants are currently spending the night outside for fear of aftershocks. Ceilings of laminated cardboard and asbestos also were reported to be fallen in various houses across the town.
- None died, and very few people were injured. According to the municipal authority of Omotepec, the damage was minor and the most affected community was Huajintepec. Fallen walls and debris were reported from this community but again no deaths or major injuries.
- The quake also caused the trees, rocks and soil to be strewn across the State Road linking with Cuajinicuilapa Ometepec and on roads that connect with neighboring communities Ometepec. There are many damaged houses along these roads.
- In Zacoalpan, Villas de Hidalgo, Mazapa, Huixtepec and Cochoapa also reported only a few houses with damage.
0 deaths have occurred, and the injured count remains at 11.
- The earthquake will remain at CATDAT Orange.

Every earthquake create a lot of dust expulsed in the air by the shaking - Image courtesy Telediario

Summary  Update 04:30 UTC :
- 0 (zero) fatalities/deaths
have occurred as a result of this earthquake
- 11 (eleven) injuries
have occurred.
- 800 houses are destroyed or damaged in Guerrero,
with a few buildings damaged in other parts of Mexico.
- Many evacuations
have occurred as a precaution.

Summary  Update 00:17 UTC :
- 70,000 households are still without power
in Guerrero province.
- 2 hospitals are evacuated in Guerrero
- The central government has dispatched more Civil Protection people to help the local authorities in Guerrero with the assessment of the damage

- Update: Damage has been reported in more than 25 locations ion Oaxaca province

- Update: The head of the Civil Protection, Laura Guza, has declared that NOBODY has been reported killed so far. 2 people were injured in the capital, Mexico City. 5 people were injured in the Oaxaca  province.

- Update: Strong aftershocks are continuing to hit the greater epicenter area.

-  Update: The number of houses damaged in the epicenter region continues to grow. Up to 800 houses are reported uninhabitable in the epicentral region.

-  Update: 2 buildings in the historic center of Mexico city have also been reported damaged.

- Update: No casualties have been reported from Omotepec which is good news given the damage.

- Update:  We have reports from Mexican radio (from Carlos) that 500 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed in Guerrero. As expected Omotepec has had a lot of this damage. This was mentioned by the governor of Guerrero.

- Update: Currently only 60 houses are still being reported destroyed in the epicentral region with an extra 400 damaged.

- Update: From Carlos Robles - our US/Mexico Earthquake correspondent:- A wall collapsed leaving one with serious injuries in Mexico City. Damage has been reported in Ciudad de Mexico like cracked roads, damaged buildings, and the bridge that collapsed in a bus with no casaulties.  Damage has been reported in Oaxaca with cracked roads and damaged buildings.

Picture of the crushed bus from Twitter

In Puebla the Palacio Municipal (Municipal palace, is a government building.) there were 2 cracked walls. Fissures in churches all over Mexico have been reported. Mobile phones were suspended due to overuse. The subway was suspended. The daughter of president Obama was in Oaxaca when the earthquake hit, she only felt the earthquake and has no injuries.

- Update:  A highway in Oaxaca has had a landslide cover a small section. It only caused slight damage in the form of a small car crash. Apart from that, other roads are all clear according to authorities.

- Update: Earlier reports of a footbridge collapsing onto a bus in Mexico City were incorrect. In fact, it was the 10 meters of concrete guard rail of the footbridge which collapsed. No people were killed.

- Update : 1 person has been injured in Colonia Juarez - of a nervous breakdown. In addition a staircase collapsed in a police building and there are reports of minor injuries. Other than that only minor damage has been reported. Some bridges have been closed around Mexico as a precaution.

- Update : At least 60 houses have been destroyed in Guerrero. Most of these are expected to be old adobe houses. Omotopec is expected to have major damage. Damage will likely be in the tens of millions of US dollars.

2.5 million users have had outages in their electricity following the earthquake. After 90 minutes, 1.5 million users were restored to the grid. In the Eastern control area partial outages  in the cities of Poza Rica and Coatzacoalcos and parts of the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala and Morelos. CFE crews will continue working to restore power as quickly as possible in the affected areas.

- Update :  We notice, as expected, a lot of aftershocks, the strongest ones ranging from M 4.7  to M 5.3.

- Update :   - President Calderon has just confirmed that so far NO lives have been lost.
- Power plants are working normally
- The President has also declared that NO major damage was inflicted
- The Mexican Seismological service is maintaining a Magnitud of 7.8

- Update :  YouTube video of the shaking. The shaking we see on the video was more than 300 km from the epicenter! Swaying is more accentuated in high rise buildings.


I have felt it Map courtesy USGS

- Update :  At 13:52 local time (1 hour 50 minutes after the earthquake),  NO fatalities have been reported so far, a very good sign !

- Update :  New Intensity calculations (based on the M 7.4 Magnitude) are giving the following impact :
182,000 people MMI VII (very strong shaking)
596,000 people MMI VI (strong shaking)
2,736,000 people MMI V (moderate shaking)
32 million people MMI IV (light shaking)

- Update :  USGS has further decreased the Magnitude from 7.6 to 7.4, a lot weaker than the initially reported 7.9. The depth has been recalculated to 20 km. All this explains the lesser than originally expected intensity.

- Update :  GOOD preliminary news : Only light damage is currently reported out of the epicenter area. Based on our own experience, we think it is far too soon to have a final estimate, but after such an earthquake, we like to hear that the damage is not general.

- Update :  A concrete walkway bridge has collapsed on a microbus. No reports yet about victims. Some people have been hospitalized by a nervous breakdown.

- Update :  Everybody in the country could be found on the streets after evacuating houses and buildings. The situation on the roads of the bigger cities is simply chaotic. Everybody wants to drive back home.

GDACS another agency who calculates tsunami heights has calculated that a max. tsunami wave of 0.1 meter may have occurred, nothing to be scared of.

- Update :  the closest airports to the epicenter are Pinotepa Nacional (77km) and Ta Lo De Soto (71km)

- Update :  there are NO hydrodams or NO Nuclear Plants in the vicinity of the epicenter

- Update :  GDACS reports that the nearest populated places are: Coyul (16km), Putla de Guerrero (18km), Cuitlapa (15km), Laguna (3km). The closest civilian airport is Pinotepa Nacional (77km).

- Update :  The area has currently a lot of aftershocks as could be expected. These aftershocks will go on for many hours and even days. Gradually they will get weaker but sometimes even M 6.x can be reached.  People in the epicenter area will have to spend the night on the streets out of fear for aftershocks.

- Update :  This earthquake is a subduction earthquake, which means that the Oceanic plate is gliging below the North American plate and often hangs for a while. When the accumulated energy is suddenly freed a massive earthquake is generated.

- Update :  It will take a few hours before that we will have reports of the damage and eventually casualties. Every earthquake is totally different and high Magnitudes are not necessarily creating devastating damage. So, we have to be cautious to predict the damaging potential.

- Update :  People are reporting shaking ALL OVER Mexico, which is very normal for these kind of magnitudes.

- Update :  Phone lines a-in many parts of the countries are down. An reader is trying to contact her husband in Mexico-City, but can't get through. This happens over and over again during earthquakes. PLEASE USE ONLY TEXT MESSAGES as Voice takes much more place on communication cables and will blocl ALL communication.

- Update : calls all cities at a radius of 30 km around the epicenter as HIGH RISK areas.

Shaking map courtesy USGS

- Update :  USGS reports that 278,000 people will have experienced a very strong shaking. This kind of shaking can cause severe damage in the direct epicenter.  757,000 people will have experienced a strong shaking.

- Update :  186 km (115 miles) E (96°) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico and 162 km (101 miles) WSW (255°) from Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico

- Update :  Comparisons in between the very strong earthquake at the end of last year are referring to a much stronger intensity now. Acapulca

- Update :  Two cities are approx. 20 km from the epicenter and are at risk during this earthquake : Ometepec and San Juan Cacahuatepec

- Update :  USGS has decreased the Magnitude from 7.9 to 7.6 at the modified depth of 17.5 km. These conditions are still VERY DAMADING

- Update :  Reports arriving at are mentioning a duration of the shaking in Mexico City during 20 to 30 seconds.

- Update :  We will have to wait a couple of minutes before Magnitudes and depths will be stabilized as different agencies are reporting big differences

- Update :  Preliminary data from different seismological agencies are referring to Magnitudes from 7.9 (USGS), to 7.6 (GEOFON) and only 6.4 (EMSC). Both Geofon and USGS are referring to an extremely dangerous shallow depth of 10 km. EMSC mentions a 60 km much weaker impact

Update :  Extremely dangerous earthquake with epicenter near Cuitiapa GOOGLE+ / FACEBOOK
"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
See below for all the received Earthquake Experience reports as received by

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude :  7.4 (USGS), M 7.8 (Mexico)
UTC Time : Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 18:02:53 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 12:02:53 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km
Geo-location(s) :
10 km S Xochistlahuaca (pop 3,566)
20 km E Ometepec (pop 17,801)
165 km SE Chilpancingo (pop 165,250)
193 km (120 miles) E (83°) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico
262 km S Puebla (pop 1,392,099)

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

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 22:25 4.8 54 MAP
EMSC Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 22:25 5.0 45 MAP
USGS Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 22:25 5.0 21 MAP
EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 21:43 4.6 21 MAP
USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 21:43 4.6 20 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 21:43 4.5 10 MAP
EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 20:14 5.1 40 MAP
USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 20:14 5.1 10 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 20:14 4.9 10 MAP
USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 19:34 4.8 18 MAP
EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 19:34 4.8 10 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 19:34 4.5 10 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 19:19 4.5 10 MAP
EMSC Offshore Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 19:19 4.7 10 MAP
USGS Offshore Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 19:19 4.7 13 MAP
EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 19:02 5.2 30 MAP
USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 19:02 5.1 25 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 19:02 5.1 19 MAP
EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 18:35 5.0 60 MAP
USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 18:35 5.1 10 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 18:35 5.0 20 MAP
GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 18:22 5.2 19 MAP
USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 18:22 5.3 18 MAP
EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 18:22 5.3 15 MAP
USGS Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 18:02 7.9 10 MAP
  • Acapulco - j'étais au condo au 23 ième étage et j'ai vraiment senti le plancher valsé c'est la première fois que je vis un séisme si fort
  • Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico City - Usually i never feel earthquakes in this part of the city, volcanic rocks on the ground are very stable but this time all my lamps were shaking it lasted about 30 seconds.
  • Distrito federal - Ví las paredes del edificio en el que trabajo agrietándose, apareció un hueco en una de las paredes, el techo tronó, temimos por nuestras vidas realmente. Delegación Cuahutémoc D.F.
  • Tlalpan, Mexico City - I was in south of the city, and suddenly I felt a shaking. I saw many stuffs swing, but the shaking was short.
  • GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 18:02 7.3 34 MAP
  • mexico - Strong shaking indicated
  • Oaxaca de Juarex, MX - I am originally from Washington State so I know what earthquakes can do. Seemed to be more on the moderate shaking scale but not exactly sure, as it has been a while since I experienced an actual shaking earthquake as opposed to a rolling earthquake.
  • acapulco - Strong shaking indicated
  • Toluca,Mexico - Strong shaking indicated
  • Mexico DF - as usual isn't an nice experince
  • Copilco, DF, Mexico - Moderate shaking indicated
  • Mexico City - 3rd floor of some sturdy 5-floor buildings that survived the last big one. I often don't even notice weaker quakes, but this one had very noticeable shaking, which even made me dizzy, and lasted 20-30 seconds.
  • Mexico - Moderate shaking indicated
  • Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca - Got me running out of the house! still felt the dirt in street moving under me for several minutes.
  • Mexico City, Mexico - I could feel the ground shaking and see the walls moving for at least a minute. It was more severe than the earthquake on December 11, 2011. We almost immediately lost power as well.
  • Puebla - Strong shaking indicated
  • Mexico DF - I Have witnessed the earthquake that occured back in december. This was much more strong than before. It started out as a little one but the longer it went on it got stronger. It honestly felt like my eyes were going cross-eyed i couldnt even see straight the whole house was moving. Scary things to deal with!!!
  • Mexico City - It was a side-to-side type shaking/waving, and definitely the strongest I've felt. I was on the 5th floor and felt it was necessary to leave the building. Many of the residents did the same, running down the stairs and waiting outside until it let up.
  • Hidalgo - Strong shaking
  • Cuernavaca, Mexico - The rolling got me to run out of my house with my daughter. Moderate shaking of my ceiling fans. Also, felt an aftershock about 10 minutes later. Can not get a hold of my husband who is in Mexico City. The phone lines are down.
  • Mexico City - I am native from Mexico City. This earthquake felt very strong and with long duration. I live in the north part of the city. It seems there are no critical events, right now people is calm and everything is continuing as always.
  • Cuernavaca, Morelos - about 30 seconds
  • MEXICO - I am out in Atizapan de Zaragoza in the hills and I never feel earthquakes but this one I did. The hanging light pendants were swinging and the house was shaking, I almost thought the house was going to fall. I have never felt anything like it.
  • Oaxaca - Was having a coffee with friends when it all started. Hope that was all...
  • Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca - It felt really strong here, because it was an oscillatory movement and we are about 300km from the epicenter, thankfully no reports of people injured or constructions damaged so far (14:13 EST)
  • Chilpancingo, GRO - Still moving!
  • Mexico - While shopping at Sam's, we felt marked tremors. Cashier told us to leave, could not help but notice how calm and polite everyone was. Staff very courteous, shoppers left calmly and did not cause any pandemonium. Very professional and impressive. Earthquake a little scary but not dramatic. Light fixtures moved ceiling moved, sirens blasting
  • México, D.F. - Me pareció similar al de 1985. Vivo en una zona al sur de la Ciudad de México donde el suelo volcánico debió de amortiguar el temblor. Pero no fue así.
  • Mexico City - It began softly and in a jerk got stronger, building was making strong noises but nothing to worry to much, people was calm in general and all went good in the business center of the city (Santa Fe) lot's of people in the streets after initial shock slowly going back to work 😉
  • Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca - I was in a small grocery store when a whiplash type motion hit, things swayed, some stuff was thrown off the shelves onto the floor. It was all over in a few seconds. Several of us crowded into the small doorway for 30-40 seconds before moving on. Went home, checked the house and found no damage. Looked for the possibility of a sea surge, but nothing happened, so I went to the beach about 3PM. Guerrero is hilly and very close, about 100 miles north. Have never heard about volcanic activity ther
  • Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca - I was in a small grocery store when a whiplash type motion hit, things swayed, some stuff was thrown off the shelves onto the floor. It was all over in a few seconds. Several of us crowded into the small doorway for 30-40 seconds before moving on. Went home, checked the house and found no damage. Looked for the possibility of a sea surge, but nothing happened, so I went to the beach about 3PM. Guerrero is hilly and very close, about 100 miles north. Have never heard about volcanic activity ther
  • Mexico City - Estoy al sur de la ciudad por el Estadio Azteca,se sintio fuerte pero todo en orden
  • México City - Movimiento rápido de norte a sur y luego de este a oeste, imposible caminar, activación de alerta sísmica, perdida de energia, no comunicaciones, desplazamiento de 50 centimetros de las lámparas. Me recordo a terremoto 1985.
  • Tlatelolco, Mexico City. - Vivo en el piso 23 de una torre habitacional. El sismo empezó cmo otros pero tomo fuerza. Me preocupé cuando libros y otros objetos empezaron a volar alegremente. La fuerza del sismo era tal que era imposible ponerse de pie/I live on the 24th floor of a bulding in this area. The quake began slowly but began to be stronger and stronger, books and objets from shleves began to fly around. It was so intense that it was impossible to stand up. A frightening experience!
  • Mexico City - I'm located in the Del Valle neighborhood in Mexico City. Firstly, Mexico City's Seismic Alert System went off, some 50 seconds prior to the first seismic waves hitting the building. At the beginning, the rolling movements were gentle, but after 30 seconds the ground shaking became nerves-breaking. The strong part of the earthquake lasted nearly 30 seconds, and then it went down to an almost imperceptible rolling movement that lasted almost 3.5 minutes, due to muddy soil conditions underneath.
  • EMSC Guerrero, Mexico Mar 20 18:02 7.4 19 MAP
    USGS Oaxaca, Mexico Mar 20 18:02 7.4 20 MAP


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    I felt the shaking *
    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
    Shaking Strength *
    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) ?
    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.
    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
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    1. This is interesting video of a Tsunami caused by the March 20th 2012 Quake. The video was shot by people studying a fish in Death Valley on the California/Nevada border some 3,429 miles north of the quake. It is a collapsed cave, thus this is an underground Tsunami.

    2. Jennifer says

      The Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN) and most US media report the epicenter as Guerrero, but the US Geological Survey (USGS) places the epicenter in Oaxaca, near the border, north of a tiny town called Buenavista - just outside of San Juan Cacahuatepec, Oaxaca. Google maps has a place mark for it, and the USGS page is here (though they keep changing the nearest locations to places farther away, and the magnitude decreased, the epicenter has stayed the same since the first report. I guess they figured out people don't know how to geolocate):

      You have written here that the "earthquake happened 149km from Oaxaca" (I guess the city?); "occurred in the highly populated region of Guerrero; and also, "53 km ... WSW ... from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico", but the USGS page places the coordinates at 16° 39' 43.1994" N, 98° 11' 16.8" W in lat/long, or 16.662°, 98.188° in decimal degrees.

      That is very near (25 km E of) Ometepec, Guerrero, but still, it is in Oaxaca. The media might be reporting the location as Guerrero because the initial twitter feed from Guerrero Mayor Marcelo Ebrard reporting it as being NE of Ometepec, Guerrero, as the SSN now reports (although at first they said it was south of Ometepec)*. There might be political reason that the epicenter is being reported differently, as Guerrero is more populated and might be expected to fetch more money from federal sources. Or maybe journalists looking at maps are mistaking the highway (125) for the Oaxaca, Guerrero border. Who knows? But your page is so accurate and updated regularly, that I thought the discrepancy would be best pointed out here.

      USGS Distances
      25 km (15 miles) E (95°) from Ometepec, Guerrero, Mexico
      42 km (26 miles) NNW (335°) from Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, Mexico
      87 km (54 miles) SW (219°) from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico
      162 km (101 miles) WSW (255°) from Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
      186 km (115 miles) E (96°) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

      Later reported, USGS Distances
      25 km (15 miles) E (95°) from Ometepec, Guerrero, Mexico
      42 km (26 miles) NNW (335°) from Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, Mexico
      87 km (54 miles) SW (219°) from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico
      162 km (101 miles) WSW (255°) from Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
      186 km (115 miles) E (96°) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

      SSN: (but their page is now down) :(.