Two dead in Mexico earthquake which struck on same date as two previous quakes

·2-min read

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico on the same date as two devastating quakes in 1985 and 2017, in what scientists labelled a pure coincidence.

At least two people were killed after the earthquake struck shortly after 1pm local time on Monday 19 September in the west of the country.

It damaged buildings, knocked out power and sent residents in the capital, Mexico City, scrambling outside for safety.

The epicentre was in a sparsely populated part of Mexico, about 90km (56 miles) from Tecoman in Colima, close to the Pacific coast and around 400km (250 miles) from Mexico City.

It was relatively shallow - only 15km (nine miles) deep - which would have amplified its impact.

Laura Velazquez, the head of Mexico's civil protection agency, said the two deaths were due to the partial collapse of buildings.

One of the victims was crushed by the front of a department store in Manzanillo and the other was found dead inside a shopping centre in the same port city in the state of Colima.

Ten other people were injured, nine in Colima and one in neighbouring Michoacan.

There have been at least 692 aftershocks recorded since the earthquake hit, with the strongest being a magnitude 5.8 on Tuesday morning.

Scientists have said the three earthquakes which struck on the same date in Mexico is a 'coincidence'.

US Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle said that "this is a coincidence".

He said: "There's no physical reason or statistical bias toward earthquakes in any given month in Mexico."

Seismology researcher Xyoli Perez-Campos said: "The plates break when it's their time to break. What are they going to know about the calendar?"

However, other people believe the date to be more than a coincidence.

"It seems like a curse," Isa Montes, a 34-year-old graphic designer said.

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In 1985, tremors with a magnitude of 8.0 hit Mexico City, causing the deaths of at least 5,000 people.

Hundreds of buildings collapsed and the event is said to have caused at least $3bn (£2.6bn) worth of damage.

In 2017, a 7.1 earthquake killed 370 people in the city of Puebla in central Mexico, which also saw more than 40 buildings collapse.

Mexico lies on top of five tectonic plates, which makes it prone to earthquakes.