Updated: September 9, 2021 9:57:46 am
A powerful earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday, causing buildings to shake and big rocks to fall in several places in southwestern part of the country. At least one man died after he was crushed by falling debris, reported Reuters. As residents evacuated homes and took to streets, many captured the impact of the quake, sharing shocking videos on social media.
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which hit 11 miles (17.7 km) northeast of Acapulco, shook the hills around the city, downing trees and pitching large boulders onto roads. Scared locals gathered in the streets of the Mexican holiday destination amid the aftershocks, cradling little children and pets.
While some shared home surveillance videos showing furniture toppling owing to the tremors, others captured the night sky that was lit up by bright purple, green and blue hues known as ‘Earthquake Lights’. Footage shared by residents also showed people stranded in cable cars, as power went out, swaying several feet above the ground.
The mysterious lightning of the night sky reminded people of the time when a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck Mexico in 2017, as similar images and videos had gone viral on social media. While it stunned people around the world, many locals said it has become a common sight during quakes in the country.
The lights can take “many different shapes, forms, and colors,” Friedemann Freund, an adjunct professor of physics at San Jose State University and a senior researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center, said in a 2014 National Geographic interview.
Explaining the rare phenomenon the report added that “the lights are caused by electric charges activated in certain types of rocks during seismic activity, ‘as if you switched on a battery in the Earth’s crust’.” According to scientist the earthquake lights more commonly appear before or during quakes, not as much afterward.
— Foro_TV (@Foro_TV) September 8, 2021
— Javier Alarcón (@Javier_Alarcon_) September 8, 2021
— Cyntia Barrera Diaz (@CBarreraDiaz) September 8, 2021
#Mexico City’s skyline, showing the Earthquake Lights phenomenon from a 7.1 quake with an epicenter in Acapulco that was felt in many parts of the country. Curious sidenote: people were making memes wondering if this September would bring any earthquakes. It did.#Sismo #Temblor pic.twitter.com/2py9610bUF
— Antonio Video (@AntonioVideoTJ) September 8, 2021
— Pablo Dazán (@PabloDazan) September 8, 2021
— Ivann (@ivaan1997) September 8, 2021
— Lili Díaz (@LiliDepp4ever) September 8, 2021
— Javo (@soyjavorios) September 8, 2021
— Izziefur (@izziefur) September 8, 2021
— Fück (@EduardoMatiz) September 8, 2021
— Osiris Hilario (@osirishilario) September 8, 2021
— Ivan Noiret Arellano (@ArellanoNoiret) September 8, 2021
— global_news01 🌎 (@global_news01) September 8, 2021
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the earthquake had not caused major damage in Guerrero, the neighboring region of Oaxaca, Mexico City and other areas.
Mexican state power utility the Comision Federal de Electricidad said in a statement that 1.6 million users had been affected by the quake in Mexico City, and the states of Guerrero, Morelos and Oaxaca.
Mexico’s National Civil Defense said it was conducting reviews in 10 states, but had not received reports of victims nor serious damage.