Shallow M6.4 earthquake hits off Baja California, Mexico

M6.4 earthquake hits off Baja California on June 18, 2023
M6.4 earthquake hits off Baja California on June 18, 2023

A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck off Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, seismologists say. There were no immediate reports of serious damage and no tsunami warnings were issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 1:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, was centered below the Pacific Ocean, between San José del Cabo on the tip of Baja California and Mazatlán in Sinaloa state.

Mexico’s seismological agency put the preliminary magnitude at 6.4 while the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude slightly lower, at 6.3. Both measurements were down from an earlier reading of 6.6.

The quake struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) below the seabed.

“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement. The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center confirmed there’s no threat to U.S. coastlines.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.

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Computer models from the USGS suggest the earthquake was too far from land to have caused a significant impact, but an estimated 1.9 million people along the coast may have felt light shaking.

Mexico sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to large earthquakes. In September 2022, a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit the western state of Michoacán, killing two people and injuring dozens more.

The earthquake in September happened just an hour after a nationwide preparedness drill, which took place on the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake which killed more than 10,000 people. It was also the anniversary of a quake in 2017 which killed 370 people. [USGS, BNO News]

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