July 8th, 2014

6.9Mw Earthquake — Southern Mexico

Posted at 3:52 PM ET

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A magnitude 6.9 earthquake was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) about 1 mile from Puerto Madero, Mexico near the Mexico-Guatemala border on Monday. The quake occurred at 6:23 a.m. local time (11:23 UTC) on the Pacific Coast, with an initial magnitude of 7.1 but later corrected to 6.9. The quake depth was 37 miles (60 km). About 10 minor aftershocks were reported in the region triggering additional landslides.

At least eight fatalities have been reported, including a newborn boy. Several dozen buildings have been damaged and landslides have been reported. The scope of damage together with fatality and injury counts may change as authorities continue to assess and respond to the event.

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*Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) measures the perceived strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location. For more information on the MMI scale please see www.earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/topics/mercalli.php.

Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or GC Analytics® representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.

Impacts

Guatemala

A state of emergency has been declared and nearly 25,000 people have been affected by the event. Reports indicate at least 226 houses sustained severe damage and another 134 sustained moderate damage. At least 136 homes have suffered slight damage together with 134 schools affected.

Local officials identified that at least two people died in their homes from collapsed walls in the Guatemalan town of Pati, in the border province of San Marcos, according to media reports. One other woman in Quetzaltenango died from a heart attack, although it is unclear whether this was directly related to the earthquake or not.  Reports also indicate that a newborn was hit by a piece of false ceiling in a San Marcos hospital and died as a result.

Much of the damage was reported in the Guatemalan border region of San Marcos, where downed power lines, cracked buildings and landslides blocked roads. At least 33 injuries were reported, with many head injuries. Reports indicate at least 41 houses were severely damaged, and another 39 with lighter damage in San Marcos. At least 36 people in the municipality of San Sebastian Huehuetenango were evacuated. In the local town of La Reforma, 48 homes were damaged in addition to the local cemetery according to reports.

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake affected Western Guatemala in November 2012 killing 44.

Mexico

In the state of Chiapas, a state of emergency has been requested where about 9,000 homes have been affected. Two were reported killed in building collapses according to local authorities. A 51-year-old man also died in the town of Huixtla, near the Guatemala border, after a wall fell on him. Reports also indicate that a 74-year-old man died in Mapastepec with four others suffering non-serious injuries. Chiapas authorities reported damage to 287 homes in 15 municipalities according to media sources. The airport terminal in Tapachula suffered minor damage but the airport remained operational. Tremors were felt in Mexico City, although no damage or injuries were reported.

A series of strong quakes affected Mexico two months ago, with a magnitude 6.4 quake affecting the capital and causing a bridge collapse in Guerrero, but without major damage or injuries.

Sources: USGS, Reuters News, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Wall Street Journal, Prensa Libre, El Universal Estados.

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Guy Carpenter publishes CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email CAT.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

Guy Carpenter compiles RISK-i reports for major technological or man-made events worldwide. These reports cover risks to property, transport and life including explosions, fires, crashes, engineering disasters and terrorist attacks that are likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email RISK.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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