M7.0 Acapulco, Mexico Earthquake Rattles Guerrero State to Mexico City

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​​​​​​Key Headlines

  • Significant earthquake (Mw7.0 USGS; M7.1 Mexico SSN) on the Middle America subduction zone near Acapulco, Mexico occurred in the evening of September 7th (20:47 local time): Earthquake epicenter was approximately 21 km (13 mi) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. The 20 km depth is consistent with subduction interface events and the earthquake occurred along the Cocos and North America plate boundary.
  • Relatively small subduction event, but light shaking felt in Mexico City: Maximum ground shaking intensities in Acapulco were reported as MMI VII (Very Strong) and MMI IV (Light) in some parts of Mexico City. Early indications that stronger soils and newer building inventories in the affected Guerrero region may have prevented extensive damage and casualties. Light (MMI IV) shaking was felt in Mexico City and the early warning system was triggered effectively in the capital.
  • Notable location of September 7th earthquake on southeastern edge of Guerrero Gap:This segment of the Middle America subduction zone is speculated to generate M8+ earthquakes, but has shown historically quiet seismicity. The largest earthquake in the Guerrero Gap M7.6 occurred in 1911. More recently, there was an M7.0 earthquake in 1962 in approximately the same location as the September 7th event.
USGS MMI ground shaking intensities from M7.0 September 7, 2021 earthquake near Acapulco.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Early Reports of Limited Damage

  • Limited damage reported in Guerrero:Very Strong (MMI VII) shaking was felt in Acapulco and surrounding areas, but early reports of damage seems to be limited according to the governor of Guerrero, Héctor Astudillo, and Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Acapulco's airport is reported to have suffered damage and was closed following the earthquake.
  • Initial economic losses estimated to be less than 1% of Mexico's GDP: The U.S. Geological Survey's PAGER system provides real-time potential economic and casualty impacts from global earthquakes. PAGER estimates for the M7.0 earthquake were conservative considering the mix of building types and shaking intensities felts in the region. In the first 24 hours following the earthquake, only 1 fatality has been reported. Guerrero's health secretary said they had no hospital admissions due to the earthquake.
  • Regional electric power and phone outages reported:In the hours following the earthquake, the Federal Electricity Commission reported electric power outages affected 1.6 million people in Morelos, Oaxaca, the Federal District, and Mexico City. The capital's subway system temporary halted service, but quickly resumed on September 8th.
  • More than 150 aftershocks in first 24 hours after earthquake:Some landslide and road blockage reports in Guerrero are expected to increase as the region experiences aftershocks following the September 7th earthquake. The largest aftershock so far is reported to be of M5.2.
PAGER economic loss and fatality estimates for M7.0 September 7, 2021 earthquake.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey



PAGER MMI ground shaking intensities from M7.0 September 7, 2021 earthquake.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
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