6.6 Magnitude Quake Hits Mexico's Gulf Of California

  • by: Alan Duke

The collision between the tectonic plates that carry the Pacific Ocean's floor eastward and northwest Mexico westward triggered a 6.6 magnitude earthquake centered in the Gulf of California in the early morning of September 13, 2015

The quake's epicenter was at a depth of 6 miles and was 593 miles (955km) south-southeast of Phoenix, Arizona.

"Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions," according to the U.S Geological Survey.

"Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions," the USGA said. "In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City."

"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."

Read more about the history and science of Mexico's earthquakes here.

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