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7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Mexico as Rare Phenomena Lights up the Sky

Published: September 8, 2021
ACAPULCO, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 07: after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit yesterday close to 9:00 pm on September 07, 2021 in Acapulco, Mexico. The epicenter was located 14 kilometer southeast of Acapulco and over 150 replicas followed through the night. So far authorities confirmed one dead. (Image: Raul Agui/Getty Images)

At approximately 9:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 7 a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Mexico near the beach resort of Acapulco killing at least one man and lighting up the skies with a rare phenomena. 

The quake, which caused buildings to shake for nearly a minute, does not appear to have caused any widespread destruction in either Acapulco, Mexico City or the surrounding areas. 

The earthquake’s epicenter was measured 11 miles northeast of Acapulco in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake was very shallow at only 7.8 miles below the surface.

Video’s have surfaced online showing panicked residents of Mexico City trying to keep their balance as the skies served up a dazzling light show. 

The apocalyptic scenes caused the hashtag “Apocalipsis” — which is Spanish for Apocalypse — to trend on Twitter.

The flashes of light, that began shortly after the quake hit, are speculated to be the result of friction between moving rocks that in turn creates electrical activity; however geophysicists have not come to a consensus on what causes the phenomena or even if the phenomena actually exists. 

The phenomenon, known as Earthquake Lights (EQL), was also witnessed during a destructive quake that hit Mexico in 2017.

Skeptics say that the lights witnessed during an earthquake may simply be mundane lightning that coincidentally strikes at the same time as the quake.