MaritimeNewsWeather and Critical Events

Massive 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico Pacific Coast region

Earthquake’s epicenter 40 miles from Port of Manzanillo, Mexico’s largest container port

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico’s central Pacific Coast region Monday afternoon causing at least one death, as well as major damage to buildings, roads and other infrastructure, according to early reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. Mexico’s national seismological agency later upgraded the magnitude to 7.7 in a press conference on Monday.

The earthquake’s epicenter was about 40 miles from the Port of Manzanillo, the country’s largest and busiest container port. It was not immediately clear if the port sustained major damage. 

The Port of Manzanillo handled 3.37 million twenty-foot equivalent units and 14 million tons of cargo in 2021, according to SPC Global

The port is one of the main gateways for international trade with Mexico, handling about 48% of all cargo entering the country, according to the General Directorate of Ports.

The Port of Manzanillo has been closed since noon Sunday in preparation for Tropical Storm Madeline, which caused wind and water damage to parts of the city, according to Noticias Manzanillo.

The earthquake in Manzanillo set off quake alarms more than 500 miles away in Mexico City. Alarms for the new quake came less than an hour after a nationwide earthquake drill took place in commemoration of two major quakes that struck Mexico on this same day in 1985 and 2017.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact nmahoney@freightwaves.com