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More than 2,100 aftershocks recorded from Oaxaca earthquake, experts say they will continue

Oaxaca — Aftershocks from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred February 16 in Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca will continue in the coming days says the National Seismological Service.

Head of the National Seismological Service, Víctor Hugo Espíndola Castro, reported that to date, more than 2,100 aftershocks have been recorded from the Friday quake, adding that it will take several months for seismic activity in the area to return to normal.

“Within the occurrence of strong earthquakes that have been observed around the world, it is normal that we continue to record a large number of aftershocks for a few more months,” he said.

The specialist explained that as the weeks go by, the number of earthquakes will decrease, although telluric movements of magnitudes between 4 and 5 will still be recorded.

He commented that the 7.2 magnitude earthquake caused a fault between 40 and 50 kilometers and about 30 kilometers wide, an area smaller than the one originated in the Gulf of Tehuantepec by the 8.2 earthquake last September, which was 250 kilometers by 70 kilometers.

“A characteristic of the earthquakes that occur in this area is that many weeks, many months can pass and a number of aftershocks can continue,” he explained.

Espíndola Castro noted that before the earthquake in Pinotepa Nacional, the Seismological Service was recording about 90 tremors a day in the Mexican Republic, however, that has now increased to approximately 270, many of them as aftershocks.

The SSN expert indicated that so far this year, there have been five tremors of considerable magnitude such as the January 19 magnitude 6.3 about 76 kilometers from Loreto, Baja California, the quake of 5.9 on the coast of Cihuatlán, Jalisco and that of Pinotepa Nacional 7.2, as well as its two replicas (magnitudes 5.9 and 6).

“In this year, there have been five earthquakes that have had some impact including the two replicas at Pinotepa Nacional. It is very normal. We are just starting the year and surely earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 6 will continue to occur. It would not be out of norm,” he said.