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Tag Archive: Mexico City


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End Of The American Dream

The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

Popocatepetl - from Wikipedia

 

More than 25 million people live in the vicinity of North America’s 2nd-highest volcano, and in recent weeks this volcano has been steadily rumbling and has been spewing out massive amounts of black smoke and ash.  I have previously written about “the most dangerous mountain in the United States” (Mt. Rainier), but if the volcano that I am talking about today experiences a full-blown explosive eruption it could potentially be a cataclysmic event beyond what most of us would dare to imagine.  Popocatepetl is an Aztec word that means “smoking mountain”, and it is also the name of a giant volcano that sits approximately 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million residents.  “Popo”, as it is called by locals, was dormant for much of the 20th century, but it came back to life in 1994.  And now all of this unusual activity in recent weeks has many wondering if a major eruption may be imminent.

Historians tell us that Popocatepetl had a dramatic impact on the ancient Aztecs.  Giant mud flows produced by massive eruptions covered entire Aztec cities.  In fact, some of these mud flows were so large that they buried entire pyramids in super-heated mud.

But we haven’t witnessed anything like that in any of our lifetimes, so it is hard to even imagine devastation of that magnitude.

In addition to Mexico City’s mammoth population, there are millions of others that live in the surrounding region.  Overall, there are about 25 million people that live in the immediate vicinity of Popocatepetl.  Thankfully, we haven’t seen a major eruption of the volcano in modern times, but at some point that will change.

As most of you already know, Mexico sits on the “Ring of Fire” that stretches along the outer rim of the Pacific Ocean.  Over the past couple of years seismic activity throughout this area has started to really heat up, and according to Volcano Discovery there are dozens of volcanoes associated with the Ring of Fire that have recently erupted.

 

Read More Here

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Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

 photo Mexico-72magEQ4182014_zps80033ed4.png

6 earthquakes in map area  USGS

  1. M 3.1 – 14km WNW of Progreso, Mexico

     2014-04-18 12:44:32 UTC-05:00 9.7 km

  2. M 2.9 – 13km WNW of Progreso, Mexico

     2014-04-18 12:32:10 UTC-05:00 9.8 km

  3. M 4.3 – 94km SW of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico

     2014-04-18 12:01:02 UTC-05:00 19.9 km

  4. M 7.2 – 36km NNW of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico

     2014-04-18 09:27:26 UTC-05:00 24.0 km

  5. M 3.7 – 51km NNE of Camalu, Mexico

     2014-04-18 02:39:29 UTC-05:00 10.0 km

  6. M 3.0 – 33km ENE of Maneadero, Mexico

     2014-04-18 02:11:33 UTC-05:00 10.0 km

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Earthquake location 17.552°N, 100.816°W

 

Event Time

  1. 2014-04-18 14:27:26 UTC
  2. 2014-04-18 09:27:26 UTC-05:00 at epicenter
  3. 2014-04-18 09:27:26 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

17.552°N 100.816°W depth=24.0km (14.9mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 36km (22mi) NNW of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico
  2. 48km (30mi) E of Petatlan, Mexico
  3. 56km (35mi) NW of Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico
  4. 78km (48mi) E of Zihuatanejo, Mexico
  5. 273km (170mi) SW of Mexico City, Mexico

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Tectonic Summary

The April 18, 2014 M 7.2 earthquake near the western coast of Mexico occurred in the state of Guerrero, 265 km southwest of Mexico City. The earthquake occurred as the result of thrust motion at shallow depths. The initial location, depth, and mechanism of the April 18 earthquake are broadly consistent with slip on or near the plate boundary interface between the subducting Cocos oceanic sea plate and the North America plate.
The broad scale tectonics of the west coast of Mexico are controlled by the northeastward subduction of the Cocos plate beneath the North America plate at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. Earthquakes are a common occurrence along the Middle American subduction zone; the April 2014 earthquake occurred just northwest of the rupture area of the 1957 M 7.8 Guerrero Earthquake.  Since 1975, 23 events of M > 6.0 have occurred within 200 km of the April 2014 earthquake, including events of M 8.0 and M 7.6 (September 1985), M 7.2 (October 1981), and M 7.5 (March 1979), all to the northwest. The 1981 and 1979 events caused 9 and 5 shaking-related fatalities, respectively. The 1985 M 8.0 earthquake, 195 km to the northwest of the April 2014 event, led to more than 9,500 fatalities, mostly in Mexico City, and generated small, local tsunamis. That event was influential in initiating efforts to establish earthquake early warning systems in Mexico City.
The April 2014 earthquake occurred within the “Guerrero Seismic Gap” – an approximately 200 km long segment of the Cocos-North America plate boundary identified to have experienced no significant earthquakes since 1911 (M 7.6). The plate interface in this region is known to be locked, with an earthquake of M 8.1-8.4 thought possible should the entire gap rupture in a single event.

 

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Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image

 

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Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexican Capital

VIDEO: The earthquake resulted in falling debris and panicked people in the streets.
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A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake at about 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. EDT; 1430 GMT) was centered on a long-dormant fault line northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

It was felt across at least a half-dozen states and Mexico’s capital, where it collapsed several walls and left large cracks in some facades. Debris covered sidewalks around the city.

Around the region, there were reports of isolated and minor damage, such as fallen fences, trees and broken windows. Chilpancingo, capital of the southern state of Guerrero, where the quake was centered, reported a power outage, but service was restored after 15 minutes.

In Acapulco, 59-year-old Enedina Ramirez Perez was having breakfast, enjoying the holiday with about 20 family members, when her hotel started to shake.

“People were turning over chairs in their desperation to get out, grabbing children, trampling people,” the Mexico City woman said. “The hotel security was excellent and started calming people down. They got everyone to leave quietly.”

The quake struck 170 miles (273 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City, where people fled high-rises and took to the streets, many in still in their bathrobes and pajamas on their day off.

“I started to hear the walls creak and I said, ‘Let’s go,'” said Rodolfo Duarte, 32, who fled his third-floor apartment.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said there were small power outages from fallen transformers but officials were working to restore the service.

The USGS initially calculated the quake’s magnitude at 7.5, but later downgraded it to 7.2. It said the quake was centered 22 miles (36 kilometers) northwest of the town of Tecpan de Galeana, and was 15 miles (24 kilometers) deep.

 

Read More Here

 

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Jon Corzine
Courtesy of usapartisan.com/

March 13, 2014

On March 13, the son of Jon Corzine was found dead in Mexico City of an apparent suicide. Jon Corzine was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, head of MF Global, and Governor of New Jersey, as well as being a long time campaign financier for President Barack Obama.

The son of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine killed himself in a Mexico City hotel, sources told The Post on Thursday.

Jeffrey Corzine, 31, was the youngest of Corzine’s three children with ex-wife and childhood sweetheart Joanne Corzine.. – NY Post

While little is known about the circumstances behind Jeffrey Corzine’s alleged suicide, his death comes on the heels of at least eight unusual banker deaths, many of which were also labeled as suicides despite the near impossibility of one of them being attributed to suicide by nail gun.

Read More Here

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‘He made the tragic decision to take his own life’: Youngest son of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine commits suicide in Mexico City hotel

  • Jeffrey Corzine took his own life ‘several days ago’ in Mexico City hotel
  • His family traced him through his credit card
  • Had battled addiction through his teens and twenties
  • Jeffrey, 31, was thought to be working as a drug counselor in California
  • He was the youngest of Corzine’s three children with his first wife
  • Corzine’s successor Chris Christie issued a statement of his condolences, calling the death ‘unthinkable’

 

By Meghan Keneally

 

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Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s 31-year-old son, Jeffrey, – who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction – committed suicide at a Mexico City hotel this week, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Jeffrey Corzine had been living in Malibu, California, and was an aspiring photographer, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity and could not name the hotel.

Corzine family spokesman Steven Goldberg confirmed Jeffrey Corzine’s death in a written statement.

 

Jeffrey Corzine is seen at his father's side (right) when he was elected to be the governor of New Jersey in November 2005. His brother, Josh, is also pictured raising his father's hand in victory (left).

Jeffrey Corzine is seen at his father’s side (right) when he was elected to be the governor of New Jersey in November 2005. His brother, Josh, is also pictured raising his father’s hand in victory (left).

 

Young: Jeffrey, who was known to friend as 'Jeff', was the youngest of three siblings

Young: Jeffrey, who was known to friend as ‘Jeff’, was the youngest of three siblings

Discovered: The US Embassy in Mexico City confirmed that Jeffrey Corzine was found dead in a Mexico City hotel 'several days' ago

Discovered: The US Embassy in Mexico City confirmed that Jeffrey Corzine was found dead in a Mexico City hotel ‘several days’ ago

 

‘The sad fact is that Jeffrey Corzine had been suffering from severe depression for several years and recently had been receiving treatment for what is a very painful and debilitating physical and mental ailment,’ Goldberg said.

‘On Tuesday morning, he succumbed to his disease and made the tragic decision to take his own life.’

The family is planning a small, private memorial for Jeffrey, Goldberg said.

 ‘Among many things, the Corzine family hopes Jeffrey will be remembered for his dedication to helping others overcome their struggles with depression and addiction, something to which he had been devoted for the past 10 years,’ he said.

Corzine, who was described by family friends as a ‘lost’ soul, was discovered dead in Mexico City ‘several days’ ago after failing to reply to messages from loved ones.

His friends and family tracked down his whereabouts to his hotel by following his credit card trail.

 

Read More Here

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Spirulina superfood consumed during pregnancy blocks cadmium from damaging developing babies – Natural News Science

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reveals that spirulina protects unborn babies from being damaged by cadmium exposure.

This is a hugely important finding because cadmium, a highly-toxic heavy metal, is routinely found in rice and other common foods. Even organic brown rice often contains as much as 3 ppm of cadmium, Natural News has learned from laboratory tests.

Cadmium causes permanent kidney damage and bio-accumulates with alarming speed because it mimics potassium in the way it gets absorbed and integrated into the body’s tissues. Even worse, cadmium has approximately a 20-year half-life in the human body, meaning your body will naturally eliminate half of your current cadmium load roughly every two decades. (Do not be confused by the term “half-life,” as cadmium is not radioactive.)

Right now, our global food supply is heavily contaminated with cadmium, in large part due to the fact that so much food is now coming from China, a nation where cadmium pollution runs rampant. If spirulina can help pregnant women protect their unborn babies from cadmium toxicity, it could help prevent birth defects while dramatically reducing medical costs associated with metals poisoning.

Mice fed spirulina were able to protect their babies from cadmium-induced fetal damage

A study published in 2011 and conducted by the Department of Physiology, National School of Biological Sciences, National Polytechnical Institute in Mexico City found that rats fed a diet of spirulina ranging from 62.5mg/kg to 500mg/kg of spirulina.

The results were astounding. As the researchers wrote:

Treatment with Spirulina at the three highest doses significantly decreased the frequency of fetuses with exencephaly, micrognathia, and skeletal abnormalities induced by Cadmium (Cd).

The study goes on to conclude that spirulina vastly reduced “teratogenecity,” meaning fetal damage:

 

Read More Here

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Earth Watch Report  –  Volcanic  Activity

 

The Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico’s second highest peak just 55 km southeast of Mexico City, is seen from Santiago Xalitxintla, in Puebla, on May 14, 2013 spewing a cloud of ash and smoke. The National Disaster Prevention Centre (CENAPRED) raised the alert level on Sunday to “yellow phase three”. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

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16.05.2013 Volcano Eruption Mexico States of Puebla, State of Mexico, and Morelos, [Popocatepetl volcano] Damage level
Details

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Volcano Eruption in Mexico on Wednesday, 08 May, 2013 at 02:39 (02:39 AM) UTC.

 

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Updated: Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 at 03:03 UTC
Description
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano has blown steam for days, prompting authorities to prepare for possible evacuations, but residents are used to their towering neighbor’s rumblings and keep fearlessly heading to work. Popocatepetl, which means “smoking mountain” in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, spewed more steam, gas and ash that rose three kilometers (two miles) above the crater early Tuesday, according to the National Disaster Prevention Center. National civil protection coordinator Luis Enrique Puentes said the volcano was “totally calm” following the eruption, which belched out glowing rocks. While there was no immediate need to evacuate the population, the volcano could erupt again Wednesday, he added. The volcano, which is 55 kilometers (34 miles) southeast of Mexico City, has also rumbled and spewed molten rocks in recent days. Last week, it covered several towns in ash, including the capital of Puebla state.

Authorities have raised the alert level to “Yellow Phase Three,” the fifth of a seven-stage warning system, restricting access to an area of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) around the volcano and preparing evacuation routes. But people living in the nearby town of Santiago Xalitzintla appear calm despite the activity inside the 5,452-meter (17,887-foot) high volcano, known locally as “Gregorio” or “Don Goyo” and considered a magical rainmaker by indigenous populations. “We go out, we look at it and we go back to sleep very soundly,” said Guadalupe de Santiago, balancing a basket of candy on her head near a church in this town just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of the volcano.

“(The volcano) takes care of us. Look at all the water he’s sending us,” she said as rain fell on her. Hundreds of soldiers were sent to Santiago Xalitzintla and two other towns in case the volcano erupts and forces the evacuation of 11,000 residents in this area surrounded by corn fields and small cattle farms. The soldiers checked the condition of roads in case they need to be used for an evacuation and the two shelters were set up in the state of Puebla to house 5,000 people. Around 4.5 million people live within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Popocatepetl, which had its last major eruption in 2000, forcing thousands of people to evacuate from surrounding towns.

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Volcano Eruption in Mexico on Wednesday, 08 May, 2013 at 02:39 (02:39 AM) UTC.

 

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Updated: Wednesday, 15 May, 2013 at 15:59 UTC
Description
Thousands of people living in the shadow of this looming Mexican volcano have been placed on high alert following a dramatic increase in seismic activity from the Popocatepetl crater. The 17,886 ft active volcano near Mexico City, known as Popo, rumbled and shook during the night on Saturday, and has been spewing ash, lava and steam in recent days. Officials have closed off an exclusion zone around the cone of the volcano and are poised to evacuate towns in its foothills as experts warned of plumes of steam reaching more than half a mile into the sky above the crater. Authorities have alerted town in two central states as well as the capital, after Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center elevated its alert level to Yellow Phase 3 – the fifth rung on a seven-stage warning scale. Should the alert level rise thousands of people could be evacuated from the most vulnerable villages in the shadow of the peak. Shelters have been set up in case authorities are forced to evacuate residents. A seven-square-mile exclusion zone has been imposed around the cone of the volcano, and soldiers and federal police have been deployed to the area amid fears of further, more violent eruptions from Popo. Popocatepetl is an Aztec word meaning ‘Smoking Mountain’. Popo lay dormant for decades until it began putting out small eruptions of ash almost daily in 1994. These eruptions started strengthening two weeks ago and have increased even more this weekend.

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Volcano Eruption in Mexico on Wednesday, 08 May, 2013 at 02:39 (02:39 AM) UTC.

 

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Updated: Thursday, 16 May, 2013 at 03:14 UTC
Description
Seismic activity is continuing at the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City and authorities say they have readied shelters and identified evacuation routes in case they should be needed. Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center says there were two explosions at the white-capped volcano between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The center says the volcano spewed a plume of steam about a mile (1.5 kilometer) into the sky. Authorities continue to monitor the volcano’s activity but have not ordered any evacuations. Rain has been forecast for the area, however, and authorities say towns nearby could be flooded with ash mud. Popocatepetl has put out small eruptions of ash almost daily since a round of activity began in 1994. The eruptions started strengthening two weeks ago and increased even more this weekend.

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Increased volcanic activity at Popocatepetl volcano

 

 

Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico has plumed steam for days, alerting authorities to prepare for possible evacuations. According to CENAPRED (Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres) at 6:46 UTC on May 15, 2013 there was an explosion that produced incandescent fragments throwing them around the volcano reaching distances up to 1.5 kilometers from the crater, while also generating a plume of ash more than 3 kilometers high which winds scattered northeast. An episode of spasmodic tremor followed, accompanied by incandescent fragments thrown at distances up to 500m on the northeast slope, and ash emission which winds carry northeast.

 

 

 

Webcam screenshots of activity on May 15, 2013 (Credit: Tlamacas/CENAPRED)

 

During an aerial survey flight by CENAPRED on the morning of May 14, 2013 it was seen that the lava dome has enlarged significantly and is now 350 m in diameter and 50 m thick. But after an explosive event on May 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm UTC it could be observed that the dome had somewhat deflated, although it did not decrease significantly. This situation is possibly the beginning of the dome´s destruction.

 

Last week, it emitted ash covering several towns, including the capital of Puebla state.

 

Read Full Report  Here

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Clouds of ash and smoke are spewed from the Popocatepetl Volcano as seen from Santiago Xalitxintla, in Puebla, Mexico, on May 13, 2013. According to a report by the National Center of Prevention of Disasters (CENAPRED) the yellow alert phase three is still in force. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

 

Backdropped by Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico’s second highest peak just 55 km southeast of Mexico City, a farner plows the land in San Nicolas de los Ranchos, in the state of Puebla, on May 14, 2013. The National Disaster Prevention Centre (CENAPRED) raised the alert level on Sunday to “yellow phase three” as the Popocatepetl continues to spew ash and smoke. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

 

See Additional Photos Here

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Earth Watch Report  –   Volcanic  Activity

Image Source   12 hours ago

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2 12.05.2013 Volcano Eruption Mexico States of Puebla, State of Mexico, and Morelos, [Popocatepetl volcano] Damage level Details

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Volcano Eruption in Mexico on Wednesday, 08 May, 2013 at 02:39 (02:39 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Sunday, 12 May, 2013 at 15:55 UTC
Description
Mexican authorities raised the alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City on Sunday morning after observing an increased level of explosive activity. The lava dome of Popocatepetl, some 50 miles to the southeast of the capital, may expand and unleash increasingly powerful explosions of ash and lava, Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention said in a statement. The alert level for the towering volcano was raised to yellow phase three from yellow phase two, on orders from the country’s Interior Ministry. It is the third-highest warning on the center’s seven-step scale. This change in activity in the 5,450-meter (17,900-foot) volcano could provoke big explosions capable of sending incandescent fragments out over considerable distances, the center added.

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Mexico sets shelters as volcano shakes, spews ash

 

 

Published: Sunday, May. 12, 2013 – 4:02 pm
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 12, 2013 – 8:15 pm

 

Seismic activity has increased at the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City, leading authorities to alert towns in two central states and the capital.

Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center says the white-capped volcano spewed a plume of steam more than a half mile (1 kilometer) into the sky. The volcano shook during Saturday night, sometimes emitting glowing rock over the crater.

The government deployed soldiers and federal police to the area Sunday in the event of a bigger eruption, and officials closed off a seven-square-mile (18-square-kilometer) zone around the cone of the 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) volcano. State authorities prepared shelters.

Popocatepetl has put out small eruptions of ash almost daily since a round of activity began in 1994. The eruptions started strengthening two weeks ago and have increased even more this weekend.

Read more articles by Associated Press

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Earth Watch Report  –  Volcanic Activity

Image Source  Nuestra Senora De Los Remedios Church and Popocatepetl volcano in the  background

09.05.2013 Volcano Eruption Mexico States of Puebla, State of Mexico, and Morelos, [Popocatepetl volcano] Damage level
Details

Volcano Eruption in Mexico on Wednesday, 08 May, 2013 at 02:39 (02:39 AM) UTC.

Description
An explosive eruption has started at Popocatepetl outside of Mexico City. The restless Mexican volcano has been producing steam-and-ash plumes intermittently over the past year, but tonight there is a significant ash plume accompanied by large incadescent blocks being thrown down the slopes of the volcano. Show the growing ash column and eventual explosion that occurred at 20:14 PM local time in Mexico.The ash plume has been spotted as high as 7.6 km / 25,000 feet heading to the southeast according to the latest Washington VAAC update. However, the first local reports put the ash plume at 3.2 km / 10,500 feet. Before this activity, CENAPRED had the volcano on Yellow-Level 2 alert status.

Volcano Eruption in Mexico on Wednesday, 08 May, 2013 at 02:39 (02:39 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Thursday, 09 May, 2013 at 03:08 UTC
Description
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano has spewed ash over several towns in the central state of Puebla, just 55 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Mexico City, but the country’s capital was spared. The volcano blew a huge stack of smoke that went 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) skyward late Tuesday, but surrounding residents were not in danger, said Jesus Morales, Puebla’s civil protection director. A three-centimeter (one-inch) thick carpet of ash covered nearby towns, forcing people to wear masks. The National Disaster Prevention Center said Wednesday that ash also fell in the state capital of Puebla. The 5,452-meter (17,900-foot) high Popocatepetl is Mexico’s second highest peak after the Citlaltepetl volcano.

 

 

 

 

Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

Mexico - 2 EQs  May 9th   2013 photo Mexico-2EQsMay9th2013_zpsc81f831a.jpg
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M4.1 – 44km SSW of Puerto Madero, Mexico 2013-05-09 05:25:11 UTC

Earthquake location 14.366°N, 92.617°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-09 05:25:11 UTC
  2. 2013-05-08 23:25:11 UTC-06:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-09 00:25:11 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

14.366°N 92.617°W depth=35.1km (21.8mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 44km (27mi) SSW of Puerto Madero, Mexico
  2. 47km (29mi) WSW of Suchiate, Mexico
  3. 60km (37mi) WSW of Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala
  4. 69km (43mi) SSW of Tapachula, Mexico
  5. 228km (142mi) W of Guatemala City, Guatemala

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M4.5 – 10km SSW of Putla de Guerrero, Mexico 2013-05-09 19:30:11 UTC

Earthquake location 16.948°N, 97.970°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-09 19:30:11 UTC
  2. 2013-05-09 12:30:11 UTC-07:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-09 14:30:11 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

16.948°N 97.970°W depth=21.7km (13.5mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 10km (6mi) SSW of Putla de Guerrero, Mexico
  2. 46km (29mi) SW of Santa Maria Asuncion Tlaxiaco, Mexico
  3. 55km (34mi) ENE of Ometepec, Mexico
  4. 70km (43mi) N of Santiago Pinotepa Nacional, Mexico
  5. 300km (186mi) SSE of Mexico City, Mexico

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Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world’s most seismologically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico’s southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico’s southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California’s San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos (“smoking mountain” and “white lady”, respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

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Earth Watch Report  – Earthquakes

5.8

22km WSW of Coahuayana, Mexico

2013-02-20 21:23:08

18.637°N

103.872°W

15.6

M5.8 – 22km WSW of Coahuayana, Mexico 2013-02-20 21:23:08 UTC

Earthquake location 18.637°N, 103.872°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-02-20 21:23:08 UTC
  2. 2013-02-20 14:23:08 UTC-07:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-02-20 15:23:08 UTC-06:00 system time

Location

18.637°N 103.872°W depth=15.6km (9.7mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 22km (14mi) WSW of Coahuayana, Mexico
  2. 31km (19mi) S of Tecoman, Mexico
  3. 34km (21mi) SSE of Armeria, Mexico
  4. 60km (37mi) SE of El Colomo, Mexico
  5. 507km (315mi) W of Mexico City, Mexico

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world’s most seismologically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico’s southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico’s southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California’s San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos (“smoking mountain” and “white lady”, respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

Guillermo Gutierrez / AP

Firefighters and other workers dig for survivors Thursday, Jan. 31, after an explosion at the executive tower of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Pemex, in Mexico City.

By Kari Huus, Staff writer, NBC News

A powerful explosion in the Mexico City skyscraper complex housing the headquarters of state oil monopoly Pemex killed at least 14 people and injured at least 100 others, company and government officials said.

News of the casualties came from Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, who spoke to Mexican television reporters after rushing to the scene. He said the death toll could rise, and by mid-evening,,the newspaper El Universal was citing official sources as saying at least 20 people had been killed.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto arrived at the Pemex administration complex by helicopter Thursday evening to supervise rescue operations, the news agency La Prensa reported. Hundreds of Mexican military forces were sent to the complex to “preserve security,” officials told El Universal.

The explosion took place in the basement garage of the auxiliary building of the Petrõleos Mexicanos complex, next to the company’s 52-floor tower in a busy commercial and residential area, according to Eduardo Sanchez, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

“Right now, they’re conducting a tour of the building and the area adjacent to the blast site to verify if there are any still trapped so they can be rescued immediately,” Sanchez said.

There were reports that as many as 30 people remained trapped in the debris from the blast, but NBC News hasn’t confirmed that information. Search-and-rescue dogs were sent into the skyscraper.

The main floor and the mezzanine of the auxiliary building were heavily damaged, along with windows as far as three floors up. The adjacent Pemex officer tower, where several thousand people work, was evacuated.

The ceiling of the basement was damaged, and the situation was dangerous, Reuters said, quoting a spokesman for local emergency services.

News of the blast came toward the end of the business day — just a few hours after the company had tweeted a message celebrating how much it had “reduced our accident rate in recent years”:

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