Deadly earthquake in the Puebla region, Mexico - at least 356 fatalities - September 19, 2017

Click here for our in-depth report of the September 8 M8.1 Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco mainshock
Are you one of the people who felt the shaking of this earthquake? If Yes, please let us know what you experienced by filling up the I FELT IT form behind the earthquake or at the bottom of this page. Thank you for your cooperation.
Damage report in cooperation with the 2017 Earthquake Impact Database - EID on Google Docs

Update October 5: We made a small video in honor of the brave people who saved so many lives in the aftermath of this earthquake


Update October 2 :  Incredible video showing the shaking people had to endure in Mexico City


Update September 27 16:03 UTC: The final toll for this earthquake is as follows
Fatalities : 356
Injured people : 6094
Damages buildings : 79400
Destroyed buildings : 6400
Displaced people : 5257


Update 23/09/2017 13:47 UTC: The number of death has been increased to 317

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Update 09:43 UTC:  The present earthquake poster puts the focus more on the Mexico City damage phenomenon. It is was compiled by  geologist Dr. Jay Patton. Click on the image to be linked to his site. The poster contains lots of important scientific information and can be viewed in full format in his site

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Update 13:39 UTC:  The authorities have decreased the official number of fatalities to 217. Tens of people do remain however missing. Double counting often occurs after earthquakes. Some countries like Guatemala offer fantastic reporting with a continuously updated set of essential reports like slightly damages houses, collapsed houses, damaged schools etc. All brought as a simple pictogram with numbers. Countries should take the best pick of all existing reporting tools and for sure Guatemala is our hero!

Update 10:39 UTC:  If you have an Android smartphone and like a direct link to this kind of pages, please download our Earthquake Reporter Application from the Google Play store. The current version is only a basic version which will be upgraded the coming weeks. Having it now, will need only an update when the new versions become available.
For all of our Applications (Chrome extension, Mac Osx desktop, Windows Desktop, etc) check our overview page.

Update 10:26 UTC:  A very good scientific video (even better than the video at 06:02) to show why so many people lost their life in Mexico City

Update 09:00 UTC:  Anthony Lomax (@ALomaxNet) : Remarkably few aftershocks, apparently none so far with M5+ (Acceleration at seismic station UNAM in Mexico CIty)

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Update 08:01 UTC:  One of the biggest tragedies of this earthquake was a school building collapse where 26 people lost their life. 30 others are still missing (with few hope to retrieve them alive :(((

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Update 07:59 UTC:  The Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, has ordered to evacuate all hospitals damaged during the earthquake

Update 07:58 UTC:  EID comes up with a preliminary injuries count of 731 people (in reality, probably a lot more)

Update 07:46 UTC:  The twitter account of the Mexican President is @EPN

Update 06:16 UTC:  Video of the panic in the streets of Morelos when the shaking was still going on

Update 06:02 UTC:  The video shows the reason that this earthquake was still damaging in Mexico City, 125 km from the epicenter. Ground shaking was amplified by the sedimentary underground.

Update 05:59 UTC:  Mexico civil defense agency raises the death toll to 226, more than half in Mexico City, who has been partly build on a sedimentary underground.

Update 05:11 UTC:  The Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, has addressed the Nation and said "We are facing an emergency".
Full text in Spanish via this link. Full text Google translated in English via this link

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Update 05:10 UTC:  The support of the Mexican people towards the victims of the earthquake is overwhelming.

Update 05:01 UTC:  Understanding the M7.1 Puebla earthquake
The September 19, 2017, M 7.1 earthquake in Central Mexico occurred as the result of normal faulting at a depth of approximately 50 km. Focal mechanism solutions indicate that the earthquake occurred on a moderately dipping fault, striking either to the southeast, or to the northwest. The event is near, but not directly on, the plate boundary between the Cocos and North America plates in the region. At the location of this event, the Cocos plate converges with North America at a rate of approximately 76 mm/yr, in a northeast direction. The Cocos plate begins its subduction beneath Central America at the Middle America Trench, about 300 km to the southwest of this earthquake. The location, depth, and normal-faulting mechanism of this earthquake indicate that it is likely an intraplate event, within the subducting Cocos slab, rather than on the shallower megathrust plate boundary interface.

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While commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes of this size are more appropriately described as slip over a larger fault area. Normal-faulting events of the size of the September 19th, 2017 earthquake are typically about 50x20 km (length x width).

Over the preceding century, the region within 250 km of the hypocenter of the September 19th, 2017 earthquake has experienced 19 other M 6.5+ earthquakes. Most occurred near the subduction zone interface at the Pacific coast, to the south of the September 19 event. The largest was a M 7.6 earthquake in July 1957, in the Guerrero region, which caused between to 50-160 fatalities, and many more injuries. In June 1999, a M 7.0 at 70 km depth, just to the southeast of the September 19, 2017 earthquake, caused 14 fatalities, around 200 injuries, and considerable damage in the city of Puebla (MMI VIII).

Today is the anniversary of the devastating 1985 M 8.0 Michoacan earthquake, which caused extensive damage to Mexico City and the surrounding region. That event occurred as the result of thrust faulting on the plate interface between the Cocos and North America plates, about 450 km to the west of the September 19, 2017 earthquake. Today’s earthquake also occurs 12 days after a M 8.1 earthquake offshore of Chiapas, in southern Mexico. The epicenter of the M 8.1 event is located about 650 km to the southeast of today's quake. That earthquake also occurred as the result of normal faulting within the subducting Cocos Plate, at a depth of 50-70 km.
(Source: USGS)

Update 04:53 UTC:  Updated toll

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Update 22:19 UTC:  The ultimate explanatory earthquake poster from this earthquake comes from geologist Dr. Jay Patton. Click on the image to be linked to his site. The poster contains lots of important scientific information and can be viewed in full format in his site

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Update 23:01 UTC:  Video of 2 buildings bouncing into each other but luckily without collapsing

Update 22:24 UTC:

Update 22:22 UTC:

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Update 22:10 UTC:  Almost NO aftershocks enter this earthquake. SAR teams are looking into collapsed buildings to detect signs of buried people. You can follow live footage of the operations here.

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Update 21:54 UTC:  Can you imagine to be in there ? ...

Update 21:48 UTC:  Robin Lacassin @RLacassin, seismologist from IPGP Paris made an image of today's intraslab earthquake.

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Update 21:38 UTC:  Picture courtesy @gestionpe

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Update 21:26 UTC:  What happened today is probably a similar earthquake as the M8.2 on September 8, an intraslab earthquake.  The earthquake occurred near where the Cocos slab is bending steeply below then overriding plate.  The extension leads to big normal type earthquakes  (via @HawkeyeSeismo).
We found a good drawing of an Alaska earthquake who occurred in a similar way. The image is probably better to understand.
See also the above drawing from Robin Lacassin who was specially made for today's earthquake.

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Update 21:19 UTC:  EID has knowledge of 29 collapsed buildings/houses in Mexico City

Update 21:13 UTC:  The map below shows an almost similar earthquake as today in 1999. The 1999 earthquake had a toll of 20 fatalities. Todays earthquake is closer to populated areas.

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Update 21:07 UTC:  very interesting video. People in Mexico City got approx. 17 seconds to hide after the Mexican Earthquake siren started to warn people. 17 seconds is a lot of time

Update 21:03 UTC:  Number of fatalities with the repartition in states and cities

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Update 21:01 UTC:  damage is the historical center of Puebla approx. 55 km from the epicenter

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Update 20:57 UTC:  Apart from damage to private houses and buildings the damage at infrastructure is enormous

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Update 20:55 UTC:  Back down to 68 because of double counting. We are sorry about that.

Update 20:45 UTC:  The reason that we are faster with the number of fatalities is that we have a Mexican volunteer, Sr Carlos Robles, who scans continuously a number of sources within the Mexican media.

Update 20:36 UTC:  we will further update the number of fatalities only in the title as we expect the number to increase very often and as we hate to write it all the time 🙁

Important update 20:27 UTC:  The number of fatalities has further increased to 18 (Morelos 5, Mexico City 2 and Puebla 11)

Update 20:24 UTC:  Video footage from this historic part of Puebla. Wr remind you that you will see some graphic content during a few seconds

Update 20:16 UTC:  Please MEMORISE these pictures for the future. These people have been killed or seriously injured by running out of the buildings or walking along the side of the road when the shaking was going on. Falling debris is responsible for an important number of injuries or even fatalities during earthquakes and read te page below carefully, it can save your life!


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Update 20:07 UTC:  Shaking map with possible related damage from the natural disaster specialists at CATnews (Risklayer - CEDIM), Karlsruhe, Germany. Map generated by Andreas Schäfer.

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Important update 19:57 UTC:  We are very sad to report that at least 5 people have been killed by today's earthquake, many more have been injured.

Update 19:48 UTC:  Of course NO tsunami risk as the earthquake happened below Central Mexico

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Update 19:44 UTC:   Believe it or not but on September 19, 1985 the earth trembled in Mexico too with a very huge number of casualties. We spare you the details, they are too horrific. Today's earthquake is deeper and so less damaging than the Mexico City M8.1 earthquake (depth 51 km today vs 20 km in 1985)

Update 19:40 UTC:  Frightening video of a collapsing building

Update 19:36 UTC:  More video footage from a panicking person running outside (far better to hide and wait until the shaking is over). The video shows the very strong shaking in Puebla

Update 19:34 UTC:  Main earth movement based on the current focal mechanism. Image courtesy Observatoire Geoscope

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Update 19:32 UTC:  The earthquake type normal or extensional
Do beach balls looks like Chinese or Latin to you, check this article "Understanding Beach Balls"

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main movement FM

Update 19:24 UTC:  Professor Max Wyss, who specialises in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects : Injured people 500 to 5000, fatalities 0 to 200

Update 19:20 UTC:  A collapsed building in Amsterdam . People reported buried people. Amsterdam colonia Condesa is even North of Mexico City, which means that due to the intermediate depth of the hypocenter the damage area can be called impressive.

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Update 19:16 UTC:  Earthquake impact numbers are frightening !

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Update 19:08 UTC:  Another video of many building in dust clouds

Update 19:04 UTC:  Our complete report will be written on this page (possible for a couple of days). So please keep it opened in a browser tab.

Update 19:03 UTC:  We forgot to set the refresh rate, now this is OK and the page will automatically refresh every 5 minutes.

Update 19:00 UTC:  On this video we do see likely collapsed buildings (dust clouds). As @NTelevisaPuebla reports, the strong shaking lasted for approx. 1 minute and that's a very long time. The longer strong shaking lasts, the more damage will be inflicted!

Update 18:56 UTC:  8.5 million people are living in the potential damaged area according to GDACS

Radius Population 
200 km 39.9 million people
100 km 8.5 million people Likely damage
75 km 3.9 million people 221 Very likely  damage
50 km 650000 people 83 Very likely damage
20 km 140000 people 113 Very likely damage
10 km 77000 people 246 Very likely damage

Update 18:54 UTC:  Reports of a collapsed building in Mexico City 🙁

Update 18:53 UTC:  First reports out of Puebla are mentioning badly injured people (see image below) The picture looks very grim!

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Update 18:39 UTC:  +shaking map of this earthquake shows maximum a very strong shaking

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Update 18:38 UTC:  We call PUEBLO, a city with 1.5 million people at risk for serious damage and more 🙁

Update 18:36 UTC:  This earthquake is an earthquake at about a similar depth than the initial M8.2 earthquake BUT is completely outside the aftershock area

Update 18:29 UTC:  Based on the present earthquake parameters (Magnitude, Depth, Population, etc) and our experience with earthquake damage impact, calls this earthquake extremely dangerous and expects injuries and serious ADDITIONAL damage IF the hypocenter depth is confirmed at less than 60 km

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Raboso, Mexico, 4.5 km (2.8 mi) Population: 4,374
Izúcar de Matamoros, Mexico, 7.2 km (4.5 mi) Population: 42,936
Atencingo, Mexico, 23.6 km (14.7 mi) Population: 12,910
Atlixco, Mexico, 36.1 km (22.4 mi) Population: 85,891
Puebla, Mexico, 55.0 km (34.1 mi) Population: 1,590,256

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 7.1

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2017-09-19 13:14:34

GMT/UTC Time : 2017-09-19 18:14:34

Depth (Hypocenter) : 56 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Donation - long - San Francisco

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.

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Raboso, Mexico Sep 19 18:14 7.1 51 MAP
  • Tlaxcala - Moderate shaking
  • Amatlan de los Reyes - One picture frame knocked over on the ground floor, toiletries on 2nd floor. Seemed to last less than a minute, less than the last one in Chiapas about 10 days ago. We waited outside in the middle of the street - watched a block and concrete wall about 20 x 2.5 meters waver back and forth and our van bounce (not leaving the ground).
  • Tula - It seemed to last about 1 minute or so. My legs felt shaky and the high tension power lines overhead were swaying quite a bit.
  • Murray River, Prince Edward Island - A somewhat scary experience at the time given that we did not know what the swaying motion back and forth was; it turned out to be a minor earthquake which originated somewhere in our sister province of New Brunswick. l believe that this earthquake happened on a Saturday morning sometime in the 1980's....
  • Puebla - School building down, chaos in city centre, felt stronger than last one, due to proximity presumably.
  • Benito Juarez Aeropuerto - Escalators in airport were swinging about 1-2 feet in amplitude.
  • Texcoco - Shaking lasted at least one minute. We ran out of a shopping center (everyone was running) where one large glass wall was cracked.
  • Mexico city - Lots of shaking unable to evacuate. Scary.
  • Ciudad de México - Very strong shaking
  • Cuernavaca - The earthquake lasted 2 min with light damage on MI office of 3 floors and weak damage in MI house of 2 floors, the strongest I've felt in MI life
  • Cuernavaca morelos - It lasted 2 min, the office has weak damage and MI house also weak damage, a building fell in other part of the city
  • Cdmx - Heavy swaying, lasted for about two minutes
  • Xalapa - 20/25 seconds No damage
  • Mexico city - Very strong. Severe shaking.
  • Mexico City - Lasted 2 minutes. Ground went up and down and sideways. Felt dizzy. Church belltower lost a stone.
  • Zacualpan Morelos - Violent shaking
  • Cd de Mexico - muy violento terremoto sentido en la cd de mexico lo senti muy fuerte node 7.1 como dicen si no mas fuerte no se si esten manipulando la magnitud del terremoto yo no habia sentido un temblor tan fuerte
  • mexico city - Very strong shaking
  • Cuernavaca, Morelos - I have felt about 10 earthquakes living here. This one was by far the worst, and the only one that scared me. It was also the only one I could hear. I first felt it as movement for about 10 seconds, then it switched to a bouncing feeling for 15 or 20 seconds. Everything in my house was moving and shaking, some things fell on the floor, but no damage. I took this video inside my house minutes after it ended.
  • GEOFON Central Mexico Sep 19 18:14 7.1 56 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Puebla - Moderate shaking
  • Xalapa - It lasted about 30 seconds. No property damage.
  • mexico city - lasted about 2 minutes
  • San juan teotihuacan - Light shaking
  • San juan teotihuacan - Light shaking
  • Morelia - Stronger than the quake on 9/7/17. House shook moderately and there was creaking. Everyone went out into street. Nothing fell from walls, however. Lasted more than 3 minutes.
  • Teotihuacan - Light shaking
  • Puerto Esondido - I would say it last almost a minute, your property wasn't damaged
  • Puerto Vallarta - 90 Seconds
  • Pachuca - Shaking lasted around 15 seconds. No damage noticed.
  • Atizapan - Probably about 30 seconds, strongest earthquake I have felt in Atizapan in 25 years, in an area that is normally shielded from most earthquakes in and around Mexico City
  • Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala - Edificios intactos pero algunas cosas si llegaron a romperse como objetos de vidrio
  • Oaxaca de Juarez - Weaker here than the Sep. 8th quake, also seemed to bounce more. However much less lateral motion. No apparent damage and no items fell. Lasted over a minute. Menos fuerte que el del 8 Sep. Esto brincaba mas pero mucho menos movimiento lateral. Nada afectada, parece. Duro sobre mas que un minuto.
  • Atizipan - Moderate shaking
  • Mexico City - I was at home, started as a light rumble but grew to a strong sideways shaking that evolved into an even stronger upward pulse. This last phase lasted for around 40 seconds oe so. It was difficult to walk, not impossible, cracks appeeared, a window broke and some plaster fell. The resulting vibration was felt for, at least, 4 minutes.




    Other earthquakes in the greater epicenter area

    Strongest earthquakes (since 1900) within a 150 km radius from this earthquake


    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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