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Posts Tagged ‘terremoto’

This morning, I was awakened from a sound sleep by the insistent siren and recorded voice alerting the neighborhood of an impending earthquake.  I bolted upright, moved to the side of the bed and slipped on my flip-flops — ready to head out the door if shaking commenced.  As I’ve mentioned before, I think Mexico’s Earthquake Warning System is terrific and something the US should emulate.

However, this time, no rocking and rolling occurred, but I was left wide awake and wondering if and where an earthquake had occurred.  So I pulled out my iPod Touch and opened my iEarthquake app and found that at 5:10 this morning, there was a magnitude 5.7 earthquake about 105 miles WSW from the city of Oaxaca in the mountains near the coast.  The epicenter was 6.2 miles northwest of Pinotepa Nacional, in the Costa region of the state of Oaxaca.

So, I decided to use this event for a geography lesson.  The state of Oaxaca has 8 regions (it used to be 7, but not too long ago the Sierra Region was split into two):

These regions are home to 14 distinct ethno linguistic groups and the regions vary dramatically in topography, vegetation, and climate.  One can catch a glimpse of the unique costumes, dances, and dancers of each region during the Guelaguetza celebration in Oaxaca in July.   The city of Oaxaca is located in the Valles Centrales (“Centro” on the map below).

Color coded map of the regions and districts of Oaxaca

Map from Wikipedia

For a painless way to learn more about the geography of Mexico, you might want to take a look at the Mexican States games.

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As someone who spent most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area and has experienced a fair share of earthquakes, including the deadly Loma Prieta quake in 1989, I think the Mexican government seems to take warning it’s population more seriously — placing a higher value on preventing the loss of life, in the case of earthquakes, than the powers-that-be in el Norte.

Though I didn’t hear the early warning siren in Oaxaca for Tuesday’s 7.4 earthquake (or, perhaps I wasn’t tuned in to what it was), I did hear it for a couple of aftershocks.

By the way, I arrived in Chiapas yesterday morning, and the talk is about the highly publicized drill that was conducted statewide, with sirens blaring, only minutes before our 7.4 terremoto hit.


Why California Lacks an Earthquake Warning System Like Mexico’s (via The Bay Citizen)

Early alerts gave people time to go to safe areas before large quake hit By John Upton, Matt Smith on March 22, 2012 – 5:43 p.m. PDT Alicia Montiel Rodriguez was in an office building in southern Mexico City Tuesday when alarms began to sound, piercing the air with beeping tones and recorded messages…

(more…)

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…under my feet.  Well, actually I didn’t feel the 7.4 terremoto (earthquake) about noon today.   I heard it!  I was walking up the Álcala and the windows on one of the university buildings started rattling and people began pouring into the streets, murmuring “un terremoto, un terremoto!”

People standing around in the Plaza de la Danza in front of the Palacio Municipal

The above photo was taken from above the Plaza de la Danza, outside the Palacio Municipal, about a half an hour after the initial shake and shortly before sirens went off and a 5.0 aftershock struck — which I also didn’t feel!

Representative of the Proteccíon Civil Municipal de Oaxaca in a yellow vest giving a press conference.

I continued on with my shopping and when I passed by the Palacio Municipal again, the media was all over the place, and more press conferences out on the sidewalk were being conducted.  The fellow above is from the Proteccíon Civil Municipal of Oaxaca.  The fellow below was speaking about the schools.

Video cameraman focused on man speaking.

Though there is concern for the rural villages closer to the epicenter, currently all is well in the city.   And one of the members of the municipal police force assured me the daughter of “my” president was fine.

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