Mexico’s most recent earthquakes did not directly involve two tectonic plates clashing, as is commonly the case. Seismologist Dr Stephen Hicks explains

We are often reminded about the force and devastation from earthquakes that occur around the Pacific Ring of Fire. The titanic collision of two tectonic plates, which firmly lock together and accrue strain over tens to hundreds of years, eventually releases this pent-up energy as a large earthquake. We have seen such quakes striking Indonesia, Chile and Japan over the past 15 years. Mexico, too, lies on the Ring of Fire and is no stranger to such quakes: the 1985 8.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Mexico City was a fairly typical “thrust” earthquake that ruptured the shallow portion of the tectonic plate boundary.

The two earthquakes that struck Mexico this month were different.

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