The 1985 Mexico City Earthquake

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On 19th September 1985 a powerful earthquake affected Mexico City.

The earthquake itself occurred in the Pacific, some 217 miles from the city, and was a magnitude 8.1 event. There had been a smaller, 5.2 magnitude quake, back in May of the same year. The main quake on 19th September was followed by two aftershocks; one the next day and the other seven months later, which were 7.5 and 7.0 respectively.

The exact number of deaths caused by the quake is uncertain; it ranges from an estimated 10,000 all the way up to 40,000. The energy release was an estimated 21 megatons; Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima, was 16 kilotons.

Image: By United States Geological Survey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (

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