7.4-magnitude earthquake shakes Mexico

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake shook resort towns earlier today, 200 miles south-southeast of Mexico City.

March 20, 2012 earthquake in Mexico

The USGS is reporting a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in the region of Oaxaca in Mexico. The quake took place on March 20, 2012 at 18:02 UTC, or 1:02 p.m. Central Standard Time. The epicenter was 200 miles (300 kilometers) south-southeast of Mexico City.

The USGS earlier reported the magnitude of the quake at 7.9, but later revised that figure.

CNN is reporting that residents rushed into the streets after feeling the temblor in Mexico City. Tourists and residents also felt the earthquake in the resort city of Acapulco.

This visible image from NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite was captured at 1815 UTC (2:15 p.m. EST), just 13 minutes after the 7.4 magnitude earthquake centered in southwestern Mexico’s Oaxaca state. The image, created at NASA, shows a virtually cloud-free sky over that region. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Details of the earthquake follow:

Date-Time Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 18:02:48 UTC
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 12:02:48 PM at epicenter

Location 16.662°N, 98.188°W

Depth 20 km (12.4 miles)


136 km (84 miles) SSW of Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca, Mexico
162 km (100 miles) WSW of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
170 km (105 miles) SE of Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico
322 km (200 miles) SSE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Deborah Byrd