In the late hours of Thursday, September 7, Mexico found itself shaken by a devastating earthquake.
The 8.1 magnitude earthquake is one of several natural disasters wreaking havoc across North America.
The end of August saw Texans floored by the category 3 Hurricane Harvey; Hurricane Irma, although past the Caribbean, continues spinning towards the coast of Florida; and Friday September 8 saw Hurrican Katia land in Mexico.
Now, Thursday’s earthquake has left 61 persons dead, buildings demolished, and citizens homeless.
This has been the strongest quake Mexico has experienced in a century.
The city of Juchitan experienced the worst of the earthquake. 36 victims were reported dead. Half of Juchitan’ city hall was reduced to rubble. One of the demolished buildings includes a hospital. Luckily, patients were relocated to other areas.
The city of Chiapas, an indigenous home to many of Mexico’s ethnic groups, saw 10 deaths from the quake.
Thousands have been evacuated from the coastal areas as a precaution to potential tsunamis.
The highest wave has been measured at three feet, but the National Weather Service warns citizens that waves as high as ten feet are possible.
Multiple aftershocks rippled through the country, with at least six coming in at a magnitude of 5.0. Although hundreds of miles away from the site of the earthquake, Mexico City was also affected by the tremors.
Areas of the capital lost power and videos have been shared of traffic lights shaking from the earthquake.
As of Friday, September 8, Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, explained that authorities are doing all they can to reestablish a supply of water and food for citizens, as well as provide medical attention to those who need it.
In a statement to his citizens, Peña Nieto said, “The power of this earthquake was devastating, but we are certain that the power of unity, the power of solidarity, and the power of shared responsibility will be greater.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also issued a statement of support to Mexicans affected by the quake.
“Just as Mexico stood with Texas in our time of need, Texas will stand with Mexico and offer whatever aid and assistance we can to help them recover after this disaster,” Abbott said.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Mexico had sent Red Cross volunteers to the southern US, as well as food and supplies.
Scientists have done extensive research and have concluded that there is no connection between the hurricanes and the earthquake. However, the National Weather Service does warn coastal areas that it is the middle of hurricane season.
Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30, when the water’s temperature is warm enough and weather conditions align.
The peak of hurricane season is the time frame between mid-August to mid-October, with the pinnacle being around September 10 or 11. According to the National Weather Service, hurricane season can produce 12 named storms.
This past May, the National Weather Service gave a 70 percent likelihood of five to nine named storms becoming hurricanes. In total, they predicted 11 to 17 total named storms for this year.
So far, there have only been 10 named storms, with Wednesday’s Katia becoming number 11.