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1985- 8.1 earthquake hits Mexico City

September 19, 2022

On September 19, 1985, a catastrophic magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck Mexico City. The quake originated more than 200 miles west of the capital. After the earthquake, President Miguel de la Madrid played down the damage and rejected international aid offers. In response, Mexican citizens organized their own rescue brigades.

The magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck Mexico City at around 7:19 a.m. killed more than 10,000 and left more than 250,000 homeless. 30,000 more people suffered injuries in the catastrophic disaster in one of the world's largest urban areas.

The quake that struck on September 19, 1985, was one of the strongest to hit Mexico City. And it originated off the Pacific coast of Michoacán, about 200 miles west of the capital, quickly spreading towards the city.

Mexico City suffered extensive damage, with more than 400 buildings collapsing and thousands more damaged. Much of the damage was due to the city's construction on an ancient lake bed with soft sediments that amplified the seismic waves. Additionally, it exposed the corruption in President Miguel de la Madrid's government that allowed for weak enforcement of Mexico's building codes.


  1. Kayla

    That is insane and interesting. Sad they didn’t take care of the citizens. Crazy an earthquake that size can happen without warning.

  2. William Runyan

    Los Angeles firefighters realized the need for people to help themselves and organized training in Community Emergency Response Teams – which has gone international and in the US is part of Federal Emergency Agency, which in turn is part of Department of Homeland Security.


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