Mexico City Earthquake Finance Paper

Topics: Mexico City, Earthquake, 1985 Pages: 13 (4301 words) Published: December 4, 2012
Since the beginning of time, one thing that has always been unpredictable is a natural disaster. These disasters bring physical, financial, and emotional harm wherever they go. It is true that many of us might never face earthquake in their lives but this planet is quite familiar with earthquakes. This means that everyday somewhere there is an earthquake, that’s how common they are to our planet. Sometimes they are very light that only sensitive devices will recognize them but sometimes they are strong enough to cause physical damage and casualties. “It is estimated that about 700 shocks each year have this capability when centered in a populated area. But fortunately, most of these potentially destructive earthquakes center in unpopulated areas far from civilization” ( In this report we will be analyzing the earthquake of Mexico City 1985.

Most of the earthquakes occur near the circumference of Pacific Ocean. Due to the terrifying nature of this region, it is known as the “Ring of fire”. Seismologists have given it a name of their own, “Circum-Pacific Belt”( But this does not prove that this is the only region where earthquake occurs, it could happen anywhere anytime. There is no place on this earth that is earthquake free.

Stating the fact that everyday somewhere there is an earthquake is not same as predicting them. Till this day it is impossible to predict them. This means that anyone at any time can say that today somewhere there will be an earthquake and it will undeniably be true. This is so, due to the fact behind it that millions of seismic activities happen yearly; thus, thousands every day. Many of them are so small that they can hardly be detected. The tricky part has always been in mapping out the locations and finding when these seismic activities will happen and where will they be centered.

Earthquake forecast will be a forthcoming probability, though. The same way that the Weather Bureau today forecasts tornadoes, hurricanes, and other severe weather emergencies, the NEIC might one day earthquakes. Earthquake study was accelerated afterward the Alaska shock in 1964. Nowadays all the studies are accompanied by the USGS and other government agencies along universities. Earthquake forecast might one day become a reality, but even before that mankind still has to learn a lot about earthquake and its mechanism.

The morning of 19th September 1985, a visit from the dark side of nature that shook three states on the pacific coast, which caused the loss of 10s of thousands and immense damage to the Mexico City area. According to BBC, "A part of a mountain just slid away, falling on the peasants who were just getting up to go to work," said Lieutenant Manuel Sanchez, from the fire department's headquarters in the state of Jalisco.

A horrific earthquake contained of four quakes. First quake happened with the magnitude of 5.2 on 28th May 1985. The main and most powerful seismic activity happened on 19th September with the magnitude of 8.1, which was then tailed by two after-effects: on 20th September 1985 with the of magnitude 7.5 and the fourth occurring seven months later on 30th April 1986 of magnitude 7.0.

This seismic activity happened in the Pacific Ocean, as mentioned in the previously, off the coast of the Mexican state of Michoacán including the states of Jalisco and Guerrero. The earthquakes were located off the Mexican Pacific coast, more than 350 km away in the Cosos Plate subduction zone, precisely in a zone of the fault line known as the “Michoacán seismic gap”. This “subduction zone” outside the “Michoacán gap” was the cause of 42 earthquakes with the size of 7.0 and stronger in the 20th century previous to the 1985 event.

Telephone lines were broken and a communications tower was on fire, which left the only basis of info was based on the television broadcasts monitored by neighboring Guatemala. According to the Television broadcasts,...

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